October 09, 2001 11:00 pm

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

La Grande High School student Dale Garrison is beginning what may be the most meaningful civics class of his life.

It is one where sessions begin and end not with the sounding of a bell, but with the rap of a chairpersons gavel.

Garrison has been named the La Grande School Boards new student representative.

Im excited, the high school junior said.

Garrison is the seventh young person to serve on the board since the student representative program started in 1995.

Garrison will sit with the board at its meetings and serve as an adviser. He does not have a vote.

The junior is looking forward to helping high school students communicate with the board.

I would like to see more communication between the students and the school board, Garrison said.

Garrison believes it is important for the board to have a student representative. One reason is that few students ever go to board meetings.

Garrison is a public relations officer with La Grande High Schools student government. Garrison has been involved with student government since he was a freshman.

I like being able to make a difference, he said.

Garrison added that his involvement in student government has helped him learn how to take other peoples points of view into consideration.

It has given me a wider perspective, he said.

Garrison is hoping to get LHS more actively involved in the Oregon Association of Student Councils. OASC is a non-profit organization that serves middle schools and high schools throughout the state.

Garrison believes that students would benefit from taking a more active role in OASC activities and attending the organizations meetings.

La Grande High School Principal Doug Potter believes that Garrison will do a good job as a student representative on the board. Hes just a real positive person. He is always helping out and is very energetic, Potter said. He has a sense of humor and is fun to be around.

Garrison plans to attend college and study psychology or marine biology after he graduates in 2003 .

Jerry Sebestyen, an LHS social studies teacher, said Garrison is an insightful student who has a quiet sense of humor.

Hell do a good job. ... He has a good head on his shoulders. Something is going on upstairs all the time, Sebestyen said.