Gunnar Hardy is only 17 years old, graduating from Beaumont High School eight months early and has one goal in mind: landing a spot on the Beaumont Unified School District’s Board of Trustees.
“I want to represent the parents and especially the students the best way I can if I get elected,” he said.
Hardyr wants to make sure both students and parents have their voices heard.
Already in full campaign mode for the November elections, he hosted his first meet and greet at Toluca’s Mexican Restaurant in Beaumont Tuesday night.
“I’m impressed with him, very impressed with him,” said resident John Burrows.
“I want to meet the people of my community, I want to meet the people I’ll be representing,” said Hardy.
In February, Hardy was appointed to the district’s budget review committee — that’s when he decided he could be more influential in a different capacity.
Since he won’t turn 18 for another two weeks, Hardy couldn’t take on a school board position without getting permission from his mom and dad first.
“I was shocked, I was stunned,” said his mom Diane Hardy.
“When I told them they said, ‘Gunnar you know what the school board is right?’ Yes, I do mom,” said Gunnar.
Some neighbors question whether he’s too young to live up to the position.
“Especially all the elderly people who live around here, he has to win them over. There’s going to be people who say you can’t do the job at 18,” said Gary Harvey, a retired Beaumont High School counselor and football coach.
Hardy said he’s no stranger to the job requirements — he’s ready to tackle what’s ahead.
“The message I’m trying to get across is you’re never too young to try anything, never too young or inexperienced to try something new,” he said.
Nevertheless, Harvey said if Hardy is qualified and willing to dedicate the time to the position, he deserves a chance.
“Good luck, I hope it works out for him. If not he should try again.”
Hardy is planning on attending a local community college in the fall, and he’s confident he can juggle college and the duties the school board position requires.