BATH TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Revere's newest school board member knows what's happening in classrooms firsthand.
Eighteen-year-old Revere High School senior Mike Kahoe was elected to the Revere Local Schools Board of Education Tuesday.
“Every issue that they have discussed the past 12 years, and every policy they've made, it's either indirectly or directly affected me, so who better to critique and improve upon that policy myself?” Kahoe said.
Kahoe received 2,664 votes, the most among the seven candidates running for the three available four-year terms. Incumbent board members Claudia Mendat Hower and Diana M. Sabitsch finished second and third, respectively, and won re-election.
“The biggest struggle I had campaigning was people were unsure of me because of my age,” Kahoe said. “But I found once I spoke with them, they liked me, and they decided I could do it.”
Kahoe said he ran on a platform of increasing district transparency.
He said one factor in his decision to run was Revere’s firing of the entire varsity football coaching staff in June after Superintendent Matthew Montgomery said the nine coaches violated codes of conduct by drinking alcohol while responsible for students at a training camp at Heidelberg University.
Kahoe was among a group of players who attended a board meeting to support the coaches.
“One of the reasons was the lack of transparency in a lot of things the board of education and administration has done. I think that’s just one example of it.”
Kahoe said he spent the weeks leading up to the election alongside volunteers knocking on more than 1,000 doors. He campaigned outside a polling location on election day.
“One of the challenges was definitely time, because, being in school, it's not really like work for a lot of people where they could pull out their phone and do a little campaigning on the side. If I pull out my phone in calculus, it's not going to go well,” Kahoe said.
Despite the challenges, Kahoe said he found support among a wide range of voters ready for a new perspective on the board.
In a statement provided to FOX 8 News, Montgomery congratulated Kahoe and said he welcomes Kahoe to the board.
“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,” Montgomery said in the statement.
School Board President George Seifert said he looks forward to Kahoe joining the board and bringing “fresh, young ideas to the table.”
Kahoe will begin his role in January. He said he plans to improve transparency by creating videos of board meetings and beginning a “meet your board member” night to increase community dialogue.
He said he's planning to attend a local college next year and hopes to gather new ideas from fellow students about their home school districts. Kahoe said he's considering majoring in politics.
“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. “I'm kind of involved already.”