Wayne Hills Student Rep Sees the Potential in School District

Senior David Ostern's first priority 'is to ask: how can I change the future of education in this district?'

David Ostern sees the potential in the Wayne Public School District.

Ostern, a senior at Wayne Hills High School, is the school’s student representative to the Board of Education. He also is president of he senior class. Theresa Pascrell is the student representative from Wayne Valley High School.

“I see Wayne public schools having both high schools ranked in the top 20 in the state,” Ostern said. “I think with the leadership of someone as versatile as [Superintendent] Ray Gonzalez and having a Board of Education that has the ability to provide a bright future for our students we can get there.”

Hills was ranked 35th in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine last year. Valley was ranked 64th.

Ostern isn’t afraid to speak his mind at board meetings. While many student representatives often just read a list of financial gifts the district receives, Ostern gives his honest opinion about things.

“By representing everyone, I have the ability to create cohesive ideas,” Ostern said. “My first priority is to ask: how can I change the future of education in this district?’”

Ostern isn’t afraid of being in the spotlight either. He was executive producer of “From All Angles,” a student-run television show. He’s also helped raise money for the American Cancer Society in the district’s annual Relay for Life cancer walk. He has aspirations of becoming a lawyer. He has applied to Syracuse University and Indiana University, among other schools.

Ostern also wants to move over on the dais and become elected to the Board of Education someday.

“My first priority is to move back to Wayne and become a trustee and president of the Board,” Ostern said. “I’m totally up for the challenge.”

Ostern wants everyone to understand what the ultimate priority of local education trustees should be.

“People need to realize that the kids come first, and we’re not here to argue,” Ostern said. “Being a trustee, you have the power to do so many things for people. It creates change.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

V February 13, 2013 at 02:59 AM
I think this article is full of undeserved praise. Attending school with Mr. Ostern, I am aware that while his intentions are good, he alone cannot get Wayne Schools to become perfect models of academia. Class elections are, for the most part, popularity contests. Our student council president is simply a boy with plenty of friends who is outspoken without much thought behind his words. Having goals for one's future is great, but there are plenty more Wayne students doing far greater things in the present who are overlooked. Board meetings are not the only way to make a difference in Wayne.
C6 February 13, 2013 at 03:07 AM
It's nice to see student involvement in our community. We need more of this! Good job to both of them!
Chicken Little February 13, 2013 at 03:18 AM
It is very discouraging how the Wayne Patch falls into the hands of a few people, who turn it into a "crap-fest." This is a poor substitute for an exchange of ideas. (Please pardon my language. I use it for rhetorical effect. Perhaps Dan will censure it, and if he does, I will understand....)
Michael February 13, 2013 at 04:19 AM
First of, that last time I checked in order move up in the rankings as a school your student-body must meet high standards inside and outside of the classroom. David is the epitome of what every student should act like in order for a school to prosper together. Second off, you don't even know David as a person or what his beliefs are so who are you to make the assumption that "Mr. HS senior" doesn't understand or address the issues you listed? As a matter of fact, I can guarantee that David carries a much heavier awareness and understanding of these issues than you can even comprehend. Also, you wrongly assume that David is simply doing this so it looks good on his college applications. Well last time I checked, most seniors are done applying to college by now so this article in no way gives him an advantage on his apps. David has also been accepted to great colleges and instead of doing what the typical senior does and stop caring, he still strives to make not only himself better but also the community better. He continues to work so diligently not so it "looks great on his college application" but so he can leave the most positive impact on the schools as possible. Instead of trying to criticize students who take action towards solving problems, you follow in the footsteps of students like David and take action. Thank You.
Equality February 13, 2013 at 05:08 AM
@V-----Mr. Ostern is actively involved in Relay For Life, is a coach for recreational basketball at the Boys & Girls Club, and has participated in numerous volunteer activities such as Keeping Babies Safe (Head Volunteer), Foundation For Fighting Blindness: Vision Walk, Morry's Camp Swim-A-Thon and much more. Writing about the classic stereotype of saying it's the most popular person because its a popularity contest is ridiculous. Maybe you need to realize that people actually believe this person is a leader and a unique individual who understands the needs and wants of all of his peers and not just one group of people within the grade. Mr. Ostern has clearly demonstrated uniqueness and individuality. If other great things are going on in Wayne then maybe you need to reach out to Mr. Hubbard for him to write about them. You are clearly being stubborn and your logic is childish. This student deserves to be happy for what he has done.


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