Bridgeville Junior Appointed to State BOE


Governor John Carney on Friday announced he has appointed a high school junior from Bridgeville to serve on the State Board of Education.

Shelby Farris, a former Woodbridge High School student who now attends Positive Outcomes Charter School, will join the board for its November meeting and serve through the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

“We need to hear the perspectives of students like Shelby as we make big decisions about education in the state,” said Governor Carney. “Shelby brings a unique perspective from her experiences in traditional district and charter schools. I appreciate her willingness to serve in this important role.”

In 2018, the General Assembly passed House Bill 455, which added two non-voting seats to the State Board of Education: the student seat to be held by Farris and a teacher seat, which is currently held by 2017 Delaware Teacher of the Year Wendy Turner.

Farris has extensive volunteering and leadership experience, including founding HeartArt as an adolescent in 2016. HeartArt’s mission is “to help people turn their creativity into compassion.” To date more than 20,000 volunteers have created more than 60,000 creative compassion items such as pillows for children with cancer, painted rocks for rock gardens at veterans long-term care facilities and cards of encouragement for members of the military, veterans, hospital patients, long-term care residents, teachers and essential workers during the pandemic. Last year, Farris started another group, SEE US (Students for Educational Equity in the U.S.) to help students find ways to get involved in making a positive change in their schools.

Farris is a past recipient of the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award, former American Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year, previous Prudential Spirit of Community Award honoree, President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award winner and Invisalign Changemakers National honoree. She also is a 2021 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) delegate.

The board’s regular monthly meetings are open to the public, typically scheduled for the third Thursday evening of the month. The board rotates its meetings to be held in all three counties.

“We are looking forward to hearing from Shelby and welcome her perspective as she brings the student voice to the board,” said State Board President Whitney Sweeney. “Having that perspective is increasingly important as students return to classrooms after hybrid/remote learning.”