Wolff’s Well-Balanced Work as Board of Education Student Representative


Taryn Fernandez

Max Wolff prepares to report what’s happening within the walls of all the Region 14 schools to the Board of Education. Wolff has been named this year’s Board of Education student representative.

Samantha Conti, Editor-in-Chief

WOODBURY – Empathetic, highly intellectual, well spoken, and mature – all words that come to mind when thinking about Max Wolff. The National Honor Society president and top 10% student recently added another title to his name by serving as student representative to the Region 14 Board of Education. 

 “He takes this position seriously and is at every meeting,” said Carol Ann Brown, one of eight board members. “[He’s] well prepared to report on what’s going on, what’s coming up, and student concerns. He usually includes all four schools in his report. My first request to our new superintendent [Brian Murphy] was to have a student rep again, and he and [Nonnewaug principal Pam] Sordi agreed. New board members also saw this need.”

Wolff is the first student representative since 2013, when Brown first came onto the board. 

“We have not had a student rep since Vincent Pistritto my first year on the board,” said Brown. “Max reminds me of him. He’s president of the Honor Society. He seems to be a very confident and intelligent guy.”

Wolff seems to have made an impressive impression on not just board members, but also Nonnewaug administrators. 

“He definitely impressed Mr. Murphy and Mrs. Sordi, and the board members were very happy to have a student rep,” said Brown. 

“He has a wonderful sense of humor and presents with a sense of professionalism that represents our school well,” said Sordi. 

The value of a student rep is huge. Seeing things from a student’s perspective seems to be beneficial for the Board of Education.

“Most of all, we need somebody who is going to give us some ideas of the things both faculty and students are concerned about that maybe we are not aware of,” said Brown. “It gives us a set of eyes in the school that adds to the student point of view. As a former teacher, I think it’s important to know what you guys are up to.”

Max Wolff received the Superintendent Award from Region 14 Superintendent Brian Murphy at Grand Oak Villa on May 3, 2023. (Karen Sheehan-Wolff)

Having a student representative seems vital to not just the board but also to Wolff. 

“I think it’s important,” Wolff said. “I voiced this at the meeting that the board has a view of how the students feel as well as what they see. None of them are obviously students and none of them are sitting in classrooms for seven hours a day, so they don’t know exactly how a classroom, how a lunchroom, how a hallway works, and I don’t think they ever will unless they hear from a student.”

Wolff tries to illustrate what everyday life is like for a Nonnewaug student. 

“Yes, you can walk around as an administrator observing, but you won’t ever be able to amuse yourself like a student will,” said Wolff. 

But where did Max’s interest in the Board of Education come from?

“I was interested in being a student representative because from a young age I’ve been attending the board meetings, and it always interested me to have another perspective on how the region works,” Wolff said. “My favorite part is being able to hear what goes on behind the scenes. It gives you a whole different view of school and the region. When you’re a student you’re just a student [and] when you’re a board member you’re just a board member, but to be able to see both sides of things and understand why things are going on here, it’s pretty interesting to me.”

Wolff will attend UConn in the fall, majoring in civil engineering, and plans to take the vital lessons learned from being a part of the Board of Education with him to Storrs. 

“It allows you to get a better understanding of what it’s like to present important information to people who have a higher position than you,” said Wolff. “It has also helped me vastly improve my public speaking skills.”