“Every issue that they have discussed the past 12 years, and every policy they’ve made, it’s either indirectly or directly affected me,” said Mike Kahoe, a senior at Revere High School in Bath Township, Ohio. “So who better to critique and improve upon that policy myself?”
Under that rationale, Kahoe ran for the Revere Local Schools Board of Education in the election on November 5. Apparently his campaign worked; he took 2,664 votes, beating all six other candidates for one of the three available four-year terms.
Kahoe ran on a platform of transparency, intending to bring all of the workings and deals inside the administration of the Board of Education to the surface for public scrutiny. He was inspired to this platform by a mass firing of nine football coaches during in the 2018-19 school year, which was done without community information after an alleged small incident with alcohol. He intends to have board meetings be filmed or live-streamed and wants to launch a “meet your board member” night to make more room for community dialogue about the schools.
“The biggest struggle I had campaigning was people were unsure of me because of my age,” said Mike Kahoe. “But I found once I spoke with them, they liked me, and they decided I could do it.”
And speak with them he did. Kahoe knocked on over a thousand doors in his campaign and campaigned outside the polls with other candidates on Tuesday.
Now that the results are in, he has been welcomed to the board. School Board President George Siefert anticipates Kahoe bringing “fresh, young ideas to the table” when he takes office in January.
“Every one of our board members brings a different perspective. While having a student on the board is new territory for our district, it certainly has happened in other districts, and I’m confident we will work well together,” Superintendent Matthew Montgomery said in a statement.
“My mom always told me, whether or not I know it, she thinks I’m going to get involved in politics someday, which, I think we learned is probably true,” Kahoe said with a laugh. “I’m kind of involved already.”
Mike Kahoe is planning to attend a local college next year. When he’s there, he hopes to gather new ideas from fellow students about their home school districts.