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Application open for 2017-18 Student Advisory Council

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the application for the 2017-18 Student Advisory Council (SAC). SAC members learn about education issues in Illinois and provide feedback to the State Board. The students also research a topic of their choosing and present their findings at a State Board meeting. Any student starting the upcoming school year as a sophomore, junior, or senior in an Illinois public high school may apply. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, May 26.

“ISBE values the voices and perspectives of students,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Student Advisory Council’s research findings and feedback help inform ISBE’s policies and advocacy. SAC offers high school students a meaningful opportunity to engage around issues they see and experience every day and to learn from and collaborate with students from different backgrounds. I encourage students interested in government, policy, and public service to consider applying for the SAC and sharing their valuable voices with ISBE.”

The 2016-17 SAC examined the lack of awareness of mental health issues in Illinois public schools. The SAC’s presentation to the State Board March 15 explored ways to strengthen connections between students, teachers, counselors, and administrators and improve students’ academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. View the presentation at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Student-Advisory-Council.aspx.

“SAC has given us a forum in which we can actually help influence policy,” said SAC member Sung “Shawn” Park, a senior at Metea Valley High School in Aurora. “Not only was it wonderful seeing other like-minded students in a room where we could discuss our shared passion, but we actually saw our work come to tangible benefits. SAC has inspired me to keep working in the public service field.”

Kathleen Rock, a member of the 2016-17 SAC and a junior at Byron High School, described her experience as motivating and inspiring. “Being able to meet and work with such a diverse group of students has allowed me to become a better thinker,” said Rock.

ISBE established the SAC in 1975. Applicants undergo a competitive review process and must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and the ability to think creatively, work well in groups, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

The following seven 2016-17 SAC members plan to return to the council for the 2017-18 school year:

Name

School

City

Grade

Neha Arun

Carterville High School

Carterville

Sophomore

Oliver Berrara

North Chicago Community High School

North Chicago

Junior

Evan Blievernicht

Teutopolis High School

Teutopolis

Junior

Bridget Harris

Belvidere North High School

Belvidere

Junior

Kevin D. Little

Niles West High School

Skokie

Junior

Kathleen Rock

Byron High School

Byron

Junior

Elizabeth Warden

Beardstown High School

Beardstown

Junior

The 2017-18 SAC will have nine open spots, vacated by the following graduating seniors:

Name

School

City

Seetha Aribindi

Hinsdale Central High School

Willowbrook

Stella Cole

Springfield High School

Springfield

Archit Dhar

Neuqua Valley High School

Naperville

Morgan Fleck

Williamsville High School

Williamsville

Breeze Keppy

Paris High School

Paris

Gloria Oladipo

Whitney M. Young Magnet

Chicago

Darcy Palder

Jones College Prep School

Chicago

Sung “Shawn” Park

Metea Valley High School

Aurora

Hannah Sunderland

Knoxville High School

Dahinda

Rock, who plans to return to the council for the 2017-18 school year, said next year’s SAC members should “come ready to work and be open to new ideas and experiences.”