The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, a student-led board made up of alumni from Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties’ STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Leadership Training program, hosted its annual Superintendent’s School Forum on Thursday, February 9 at Suncoast Technical College. Seventy-two teens from seven local high schools held open discussions with school district officials on key educational issues in an effort to improve Sarasota County Schools.
Each year, the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council works closely with the Superintendent of Schools to plan and facilitate an annual forum. Ten student representatives from each of the Sarasota County public high schools engage in impactful discussions with district officials around student-identified issues such as communication; innovative instruction strategies; future planning; and more. Following these discussions, attendees have the opportunity to participate in a Question & Answer session with the Superintendent of Schools. Forum participants were able to speak directly with Interim Superintendent, Dr. Allison Foster who fielded important questions from the student body.
“Over the past four years, with the last two as Chair of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, my goal has been to empower students to drive meaningful change in our schools.” said, Mallory L. a senior at Venice High School. “ I firmly believe that our district leaders have a responsibility to actively listen to, and prioritize, the voices of the students they serve. As we continue to work together, I am confident that, through this forum, we can make tangible progress toward a more student-centered and equitable educational experience.”
Over the next month, the Council will be reviewing the recommendations and comments made during the Superintendent’s Forum to compile and present a report to the office of the Superintendent.
As this event has resulted in real policy change in our school system in years past, teens in attendance remain hopeful that their voices will serve to implement the changes they’d like to see in their schools.
“Dr. Allison Foster was incredibly engaged and receptive during our conversations and answered all of our questions with great insight. It was an honor to have such an accomplished individual and active member of our school district in attendance. I am looking forward to working with her in the future,” said Juna H., a senior at Pine View School.
To learn more about the opportunities offered through the STAR Leadership Training program, visit theclubsdc.org or contact Libby Exline, Leadership Programs Specialist at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties, at 941-366-3911.