Maxwell Wallace, a 17-year-old Lowell High School senior, was elected by his peers to represent students on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education this year.
Were you surprised your peers picked you? Obviously it’s a great honor, but I think they made the right decision, because I have qualifications. I was an intern with [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s office for a summer and I worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
What have students said they would like the board to do this year? They want improved quality in the school lunches. Also, the recent [San Francisco Unified School District] satisfaction survey came out and it showed students don’t feel they’re being included in the process.
What particular issues are on the top of your agenda this year? As the first openly gay student delegate, I think the LGBTQ community is an underrepresented community, and those students are not made to feel comfortable. SFUSD has done a great job, but we have a ways to go.
So many families move away from San Francisco. Did your parents ever think about moving away? I asked my parents why they stayed and they said they didn’t agree with the pressure to move to the suburbs. They wanted me to be in a place as diverse as San Francisco and to have opportunities. Many families think they can’t go to SFUSD schools, but as the district improves, I think more people will see that and want to stay in The City.