Leading the way

Local student Julia Frank was selected as one of two Student Representatives to advise the newly minted Board of Education this school year.

A+ student: Northeast High School senior Julia Frank has been selected as a Student Representative to advise the Board of Education, where she will listen to and work with students across the city. SOURCE: JULIA FRANK

Northeast High School senior Julia Frank loves Philadelphia. This year, she has a rare opportunity to improve the city she loves.

The Northwood resident was selected as one of two Student Representatives to advise the newly minted Board of Education this school year. In this position, she will serve as a mouthpiece for district students all across the city.

“The biggest thing I want to make sure is to hear from all different types of students,” Frank said. “I want to personally focus on making sure there’s equal opportunities in all schools.”

To do this, Frank and her fellow representative, Alfredo Pratico of Masterman High School, plan to go to schools, meet with organizations at schools and have an active social media presence. Frank said she would like to be available maybe once a month to talk to students in person or over a livestream.

“I’m looking forward to making a change,” she said. “I want to see something that starts out with an idea from a student grow to eventually impact education.”

Frank applied for the position after hearing the school district was back in local control with the formation of the Board of Education. She underwent an interview process, including meeting with Superintendent Dr. William Hite.

She said she stuck out as a candidate because her passion for the city was evident.

“I told them I was going to be passionate about this,” she said. “I want to make the schools the best they can be.”

She was studying in the Northeast High School library when she was told she received the position, but couldn’t share the news with anyone.

“I couldn’t contain my excitement,” she said. “Everyone asked why I was smiling for no reason, but I couldn’t say anything. I was overjoyed.”

Frank said the position will help her learn to work with a wide variety of people and listen to opinions she doesn’t necessarily agree with. She has wanted to be a surgeon since she was 6 years old, and said this experience will help her get better at communicating with others.

“I always wanted to work in the medical field since my dad got a kidney transplant,” she said. “Just being able to see how surgeons were able to change our family’s lives was amazing.”

She hopes to study biochemistry in college after graduation, with hopes of studying at Stanford University.

But before that, she has an entire school year left, and it’ll be a busy one. Besides working with the BoE, she is also a member of the National Honor Society and Italian Club, participates in UNICEF and mentors incoming freshmen.

“I think the school district is improving because we returned to local control and we have a great superintendent who is committed to hearing students,” she said. “I love the city because it’s diverse with so many different people and cultures beautifully mixed together.” ••