Teen elected to school board in Avondale, wants to be a voice for young people

Markus Ceniceros has been involved in student government for the past three years, which he hopes has prepared him for the big assignment.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:03 PM MST
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AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Markus Ceniceros doesn’t look like a typical politician because he’s not. He’s an 18-year-old senior at West Point High School in Avondale who decided he wanted to make a difference. “Don’t count my generation out simply because we are young,” said Ceniceros. “We have a lot of experiences, new perspectives we can bring to public office.”

The ambitious teen has been involved in student government for the past three years, which he hopes has prepared him for his next big assignment. Ceniceros was elected to the Littleton Elementary School Board, beating out the incumbent. The fact he’s still a student on-campus gives him some unique insight into the needs of fellow classmates and teachers. “These offices weren’t reflecting us, so I ran and thought I could run and win, that my generation could have a voice in what goes in our community and our education,” he said. “I think we need new leaders in our community that have gone through these experiences and are ready to set policy and govern with these experiences in mind.”

Over the past couple of years, school boards across the country have faced a wave of criticism, with parents getting more vocal at meetings and in some cases, more hostile. Ceniceros hopes he can provide a sense of calm while keeping an open forum for debate. “Parents have a right to show up to meetings and voice concerns to the community,” said Ceniceros. “All that I could ask is that we do it in a cordial and respectful manner.”

Ceniceros insists he won’t have a problem keeping up with his homework and school board business. He plans to go to college in the Phoenix area, and fulfill his entire four-year term. “If this race does inspire other young people to run for office, I really hope so,” said Ceniceros.

The soon-to-be school board member knows there are skeptics who question whether he is qualified to get the job done. Ceniceros said he can’t wait to prove them wrong.