- Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2016

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A teenager’s fascination with history has landed her a place on a Tennessee town’s Heritage Commission.

Kayla Smith, 16, was appointed recently by Collierville’s mayor to the 10-member board, The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/1IKKB0a) reported. She will be casting votes as a member of the board that helps interpret local history.

The junior at Collierville High School said she’s been told the board wants her opinion as the board’s student representative for the coming year. She said it’s not like a high school leadership position, where adults handle the big choices and leave kids with minor roles.

“And so getting to work with the Heritage Commission, and getting to possibly really make a difference, is exciting,” she said.

Collierville makes a point of including students on the Heritage Commission and another board, the Environmental Commission.

The Heritage Commission votes on whether to accept or reject donations to the town’s Morton Museum of Collierville History and offers guidance to the museum’s director, said Josh Suddath, Collierville’s assistant town administrator.

Kayla will have an equal vote with the other board members, and she’ll serve for one year.

The Heritage Commission’s powers are limited; it’s an advisory board that doesn’t have its own budget.

Kayla was encouraged to apply for the Heritage Commission student post by her mother, who saw a notice on Facebook.

The teen comes from a family that’s fascinated with history. She said she’s come to care about history, too, and that one of the most meaningful sites she’s visited was Gettysburg, the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania. She’s also visited the Dallas site of the John F. Kennedy assassination and official libraries and museums for presidents including Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, William Henry Harrison and Abraham Lincoln.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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