The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


Future East BOE Representatives, Aaralyn Camp (‘25) and Selam Bereketab (‘25), share their plans for the upcoming school year

Muskaan Batra (’26)
Aaralyn Camp (‘25) and Selam Bereketab (‘25)

Students often ask themselves the universal question: how can I make a difference? Juniors Aaralyn Camp (‘25) and Selam Bereketab (‘25) have taken action by choosing to become the 24’-25′ East representatives for the Board of Education (BOE) of the Cherry Hill School District.

As a priority, Camp and Bereketab strive to incorporate student voice to a greater extent regarding matters related to the district and more specifically, East. For example, Camp and Bereketab plan to increase mental health transparency through Google Forms. Through their roles as representatives, they hope to provide an open environment for East students to convey their personal anecdotes and perspectives without feeling doubtful if their voices will be heard.

Camp and Bereketab also encourage students to bring up issues they want to address during public comment—a designated period during each board meeting in which community members may choose to relay their concerns or suggestions about a topic. According to NJEDA, this period of time is a public right and Camp and Bereketab plan to make students aware of this opportunity to discuss topics pertinent to their experiences as members of the school community.

“I think even just looking at the public comment, so much of it is coming from adults and parents in the community, and a lot of time we don’t see students go up,” said Camp. “But when they do, it always hits a little harder and it always makes me feel a little more for them because you see their personal experience.”

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Both Camp and Bereketab recognize that student input is crucial in ensuring that the district’s resources are distributed efficiently and potential problems are addressed appropriately. As co-representatives, they hope to work together to make the school more equitable in opportunity by recognizing the voices of a diverse range of students.

“In general, I kind of always had opinions about the school and what could be better and stuff like that, but I kind of held myself back I guess from sharing my voice, so [this role] was kind of an opportunity before I graduated to take a stance and do something,” said Bereketab.

The Cherry Hill District will encounter many changes for the 24’-25’ school year including a $6.9 million budget cut that will directly impact East students. This year, current BOE representatives Matt Rentezelas (‘24) and Gia Gupta (‘24) along with members of SGA including Crystal Yeh (‘24), school-wide president, expressed the negative impact of the budget cut to the NJ State Assembly Budget committee in Trenton. Camp and Bereketab plan to continue addressing this issue and advocating for change during their term.

“If a bunch of students go and do something like we did in Trenton, or if we get public student voice together and just harness it, it’s the most powerful weapon possible,” remarked Camp.

In addition, Camp and Bereketab hope to highlight the achievements of East students to the Board of Education. They believe this is an opportunity to prove that the money going towards East should continue to be allocated to ensure that student excellence in education and extracurriculars is a priority.

Implementing change may seem like an impossible task when considering the numerous issues that plague the lives of people around the world. However, real change emerges locally through the efforts of advocates like Camp and Bereketab who plan to help East students flourish.

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About the Contributor
Muskaan Batra
Muskaan Batra, Eastside Online STEM Editor
Muskaan is the Online Stem Editor for Eastside this year. Besides from Eastside, she is a member of Neuroscience Club, Interact Club, and Hospital Support Club. She loves to dance, read books, and play piano outside of school. She is so excited to work with Eastside this year!

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