Site last updated: Sunday, June 16, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Zelienople junior council member lends youthful voice to her hometown

Seneca Valley Student Kyra Fazio, 18, with her parents Dan Fazio and Kathie Brenneman, received an award from Zelienople council May 13 for her time as a junior council person. Submitted Photo

For nearly two years, Seneca Valley student Kyra Fazio, 18, has been serving as a junior member on the Zelienople council. The appointed position does not allow her to vote or to attend executive sessions, but her presence on the legislative body of local government has, according to Mayor Tom Oliverio, afforded the council a new and youthful perspective.

“We like to know the viewpoints of the students,” Oliverio said. “And that's one of the reasons why Kyra has been so fantastic, because she provides a different aspect to council.”

On May 13, Kyra was presented with a ceremonial completion award for her time on council, which will officially end in August.

As a junior council member, Kyra was responsible for attending the bimonthly meetings, giving input on local issues, and presenting a monthly report on the status of her school and her neighborhood.

“Kyra actually read the agenda and gave thoughtful input on the information in the agenda,” said Mary Hess, council president. “She’s a very insightful young girl who is going to do well in life.”

The experience has been invaluable, Kyra said, allowing her to not just learn but provide insight that could enact change in her community.

“I think the council valued my opinion a lot,” Kyra said. “I could add my opinion, and the overall youth perspective on things that were happening within the town and on the council as well.”

Kyra joined the council in January 2023 as a way to better understand the borough where she has grown up.

“I am deeply interested in government, and I didn’t know much at the time about local government,” she said, “so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to learn more information about how it all works.”

The junior council member also said the position let her hone in on skills that would help in the future while learning firsthand the importance of professionalism and decorum in a mature setting.

“I thought that as the youngest person in the room I would be able to grow my public speaking skills and become more comfortable in that sort of situation,” she said.

She also said she was able to witness the legislative process that takes place in local municipalities, a process that she said she now has a deep appreciation for.

“It was a really cool experience to learn about the amount of work that goes into making things, that I take for granted, work,” Kyra said.

Along with serving on local government, Kyra was also a lifeguard at the Zelienople pool and a member of the National Honor Society and the Youth and Government Club as well as the cross country and track and field teams.

As for the future, Kyra said she plans to attend Ohio University to major in middle school education while specializing in English and history. And while her future career may not be in politics, she said she believes her work on council has helped her for future endeavors.

“I think my experience on the council will help me bring my learned government experience to my classroom when I’m teaching history,” she said. “Also the experience I’ve gained talking and conducting myself professionally well help me become a better teacher.”

More in Local News

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required