ST. PAUL, Minn. - Bridget Erickson is getting a big lesson in civics.

Last year the 14-year-old wrote to the Nova Classical Academy school board suggesting a student advisory position. She never heard back. So this year she decided to run for school board.

"I was reading through the bylaws and found out that it was completely OK that I could run," she said.

When she filed the adults had to double check, too.

"I wanted to make sure that it was legally allowable because it had never happened before," Brian Bloomfield, the school executive director said.

In most school districts, a candidate must be 21-years-old to serve, but charter schools like Nova do not have an age requirement.

Erickson is one of three candidates vying for two community member seats. She's up against Tonya Johnson Nicholie and Roxane Lehmann. Her opponents have both served on the board before, but Erickson believes she has the upper hand.

"I think that I can understand Nova from the ground up and it's important to see that since this is a community member spot. Nova's community isn't only outside of Nova's walls it's also the students," the ninth grader said.

She already has the vote of her friend's parents and the confidence of the school's executive director.

"I see no reason why any executive director wouldn't be able to work under a board of directors with a diversity of membership," Bloomfield said.

Elections will be finalized on May 21. Erickson said if she doesn't win she hopes to participate in a student governance group currently being created.