Jin, FHS honors student, chosen to represent Knox youth as non-voting member on Board of Education

Raymond Jin recently saw his schedule get a little busier.

Jin, a rising senior and honors student at Farragut High School, has been appointed to serve on the Knox County Board of Education for the 2021-22 academic year.

Each year, the school board selects a student from Knox County Schools to serve as a non-voting voice and advocate for the district’s students.

“I’m excited and I’m looking forward to serving not only the students in Farragut, whom I’m familiar with because I’ve been here for a while, but I’m looking forward to serving all of the students in Knox County,” Jin said. “I’m looking forward to getting the chance to meet people throughout the county who I might not otherwise get to meet.”

Jin attended his first work session meeting in an official capacity with the board Wednesday, June 30, at the City/County Building in downtown Knoxville. He was absent at the board’s regular session Wednesday, July 14 — but for a good reason: he was involved in a math competition in Nashville.

In addition to his duties with the school board, Jin is slated to have a full load of advanced placement classes this year. He also may become dually enrolled at FHS and Pellissippi State Community College.

“I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be taking this fall or this spring because they haven’t sent the schedules out yet,” said Jin, a third-degree blackbelt in taekwondo. “I’m looking at taking AP Literature, AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology and AP Comparative Government.

“There are also three math classes that I would like to take at Pellissippi, but I’m not sure whether or not that’s going to work out,” he added.

Jin also tutors students at FHS and serves as a mentor to Farragut Middle School students. His one-year appointment to the board, however, represents his first venture into public service. He will have a front-row seat and a first-hand view of the Board of Education and its actions.

Recently, the board has dealt with some hot-button issues, such as COVID-19 safety protocols and the recent approval of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Knoxville Police Department to return its officers to area campuses to provide security.

These issues have Farragut, Knoxville and Knox County somewhat divided, and citizens have passionate views.

“I think that sometimes people get upset,” Jin said. “I think they have a right to express their views as long as nothing bad happens to any of the board members.”

In addition to martial arts, “In my free time, which doesn’t come along that often, I like to read; and I do play the piano,” he said. “I’m reading ‘War and Peace’ for the third time.”

“I like to play piano but I don’t take lessons anymore. I like to play classical music and I listen to classical music while I’m studying.”