Elliston Rounds and Leo Peralta named new student board representatives
The MPS School Board has announced juniors Elliston Rounds and Leo Peralta will serve as the 2024 Student Board Representatives. Rounds and Peralta were selected for their roles by fellow students on the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) CityWide Student Leadership Board, after an application and interview process.
Rounds is a highly involved student at North High. A heavyweight wrestler and Northside community youth advocate, Rounds understands the importance of youth-adult partnership and collaboration to ensure student voices are heard. Because he believes the Northside has historically been underrepresented, Rounds says, he looks forward to bringing that representation to the school board.
“Elliston’s peers describe him as an active listener who’s dedicated to helping others,” said North Principal Mauri Friestleben. “Adults describe Elliston as a young leader who’s eager to develop his skills to best represent himself and his community. These qualities will serve him well as a representative on the school board.”
At Roosevelt, Peralta is part of the Roosevelt Student Council and the CityWide Student Leadership Board. He uses those platforms to advocate for his peers, especially those in the native Spanish-speaking and queer communities. Peralta has worked extensively promoting mental health resources in schools; last year, he partnered with MPS to promote open spaces in all high schools.
Roosevelt Principal Christian Ledesma said, “Through his words and actions, Leo has shown that he embodies the Roosevelt motto of ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.’ I’m excited to see what he brings to the table as a student board representative.”
Rounds and Peralta will alternate being the primary speaker at board meetings, but will keep up on board actions by reviewing materials and watching meeting videos when not in attendance. Additionally, the two will meet regularly with board staff to prepare for meetings and coordinate other duties.
Student representatives provide an important perspective and give voice to those at the heart of MPS’s work: students. The Board of Education has appointed a student representative since 2015, and for the past three years there have been two student representatives.