Since February of this year, Greenfield Exempted Village Board of Education meetings have a new fixture, that of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.
Beginning earlier this year, a representative from the group began attending school board meetings and providing a report. It is not only an informative aspect of the meeting to both school board members and those in attendance, but also a mark of student engagement and presented from the student’s point of view.
According to superintendent Quincey Gray, who implemented the program at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, the idea was not her own, but rather born of something a predecessor had in place. It’s something she wanted to start the school year prior, but was hindered by the pandemic.
“One of the previous superintendents had a similar structure in place, and believing strongly in the importance of student leadership, I wanted to follow suit,” Gray said. “I strive to find ways that I can stay connected to kids because they are the reason we are all here.”
The purpose of the council is to not only to connect with students, but to encourage leadership development in students. Council members communicate with building principals then prepare a report that they deliver during school board meetings which details things going on throughout the district. Council members also provide feedback regarding their overall school experience directly to Gray, who has found the interaction and information to have produced a deeper understanding from the students’ perspective.
Council membership is open to juniors and seniors. The current council consists of three juniors and one senior.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.