The Connecticut State Department of Education has named Ridgefield High School senior Tarini Krishna as the student member of the state Board of Education throughout the 2018-19 school year. Krishna, a 17-year-old senior, told The Press she was inspired to serve as student representative after she joined several students last year to protest cuts to the high school English department. A column written by Krishna supporting the school\u2019s English program ran in The Press in February. \u201cI have a role equivalent to any other board member, except I do not vote because I\u2019m not 18 yet,\u201d said Krishna. She recently addressed the board after a presentation on reforming the youth courts, where she advocated for using the courts to reduce the number of young offenders who return to crime after being caught and sentenced for the first time. An AP student, Krishna said she\u2019s considering public policy and political science in college. She said she wants Ridgefield\u2019s school board to one day also have an additional sitting student representative, who can provide a voice for issues raised by students. The board currently has a representative from the high school student government, but the role usually involves giving a brief presentation at the beginning of the meeting. They do not typically sit on the school board during meetings to comment on matters before the board. \u201cAppreciation for the student voice has often been repressed,\u201d Krishna said. \u201cI think at times they get scared of what a student will say.\u201d She hopes to be a part of \u201ccreating solutions\u201d for greater equity between school districts. \u201cWe have to foster a love of learning and not just the end goal,\u201d she said.