Wheeling Park High School senior class president Blake Humphrey has finished his stint as student representative to the West Virginia Board of Education, and he says he was able to offer input in his position.
Humphrey was selected by the state board to join them as student representative for meetings in September, October and November.
He said he had the opportunity to suggest to members how high school drop out rates could be curtailed.
"We have to start telling kids a 21st century education is needed, and that a high school diploma is needed," Humphrey continued. "We have to start making it so they want to come to school and learn."
He suggested this could be achieved by creating a greater focus on career and technical programs in high schools.
Humphrey added he also recommended to the board that baseline concussion testing be required of all student athletes - a practice that is already policy at WPHS, he noted.
"We also have to start holding student athletes to higher standard," Humphrey said. "Being a student-athlete is more about being a student, and we have to emphasize academics."
Earlier this year, Humphrey attended West Virginia Mountaineer Boys State, and was selected there to serve as senator from West Virginia at Boys Nation in Washington.
He also has been a Congressional intern, and has worked on local political campaigns.
"One thing I realized in Charleston ... I could see the financial problems other counties are facing with their schools," Humphrey said. "In Ohio County, we have so many opportunities and courses other districts would envy."
Humphrey said he made many important contacts while serving on the board - including former West Virginia first lady Gayle Manchin, who serves as president of the State Board of Education, and State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares.
He hinted he might be heading toward a career in education.
"It's definitely a possibility - definitely on the radar," he said.