LOS ANGELES (Aug. 21, 2018) - Promising to be the voice of students, Tyler Okeke was sworn in as the new student board member by Los Angeles City Clerk Holly Wolcott during the Los Angeles School Board meeting today.
“When I sit down at this dais, I don’t want you to see Tyler Okeke, the student board member, I want you to see the thousands of students I represent. This is all for them,” he said. He also thanked the board for continuing the position and allowing it to thrive. “In this District,” he said, “student voices matter."
A senior at the high school recently renamed for School Board Member Dr. Richard A. Vladovic, Okeke is a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Youth Council, president of the Black Student Union, founder of the Harbor Political Action Committee, and active with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League. He is the son of Nigerian immigrants, Ifunanya Oparah-Okeke and Nelson Maxwell Okeke, who attended the swearing-in.
At the board meeting, he cast his first advisory vote for a special election on March 5, 2019 to fill the vacancy in Board District 5. Okeke opposed an earlier date in January because he said the March date “would give more students time to turn 18 and vote.” He is strongly committed to student voter registration.
“I wish to congratulate Tyler Okeke on being selected as the 2018-2019 Student Board Member. I have full confidence he will not only be up to the critical task of being the student voice on the School Board, but will be an amazing representative from Harbor Teacher Prep Academy in Board District 7,” School Board Member Dr. Vladvoic said.
“Welcome Student Board Member Tyler Okeke to the L.A. Unified Board of Education,” said Board President Mónica García. “I’m excited to work with Mr. Okeke on increasing student voice and mobilizing more young people to the polls. We look forward to an amazing year of collaboration and youth representation on the Board.”
Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said, “I am thrilled that Tyler is bringing his vision and drive to engage students to the LA Unified Boardroom and I look forward to hearing him weigh in on our conversations with a student perspective.”
School Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said, "We are pleased to welcome Mr. Tyler Okeke as the Student Board Member for the 2018-19 school year. The students of this District have a powerful voice on the Board in Tyler."
“I would like to congratulate our new Student Board Member, Tyler Okeke, whom I am confident will demonstrate great leadership on the Board. I know he will represent students from all across the District passionately and effectively. Tyler’s parents seem deservedly proud of this special young man,” School Board Member Scott Schmerelson said. “Good luck Tyler, have a great year on the Board! “
School Board Member Kelly Gonez said, “Congratulations to Board Member Tyler Okeke, our newly sworn-in student representative. He brings an important perspective to the School Board. I am looking forward to working with him on behalf of all students of Los Angeles."
Okeke is the fourth representative since student participation on the board was revived in 2014.
Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766