Recently, the Georgia Department of Education released the names of 50 students who were selected to serve on the state superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.
Of the 700 students from across the state who applied, Abigail Taylor Sneathen, a senior at Southeast Bulloch High, was one of the 50 selected.
Each student was required to write an essay explaining their concerns about Georgia education and were asked to suggest possible creative solutions to the state's educational struggles. The first meeting of the student advisory council was held in Atlanta this past Tuesday at the Department of Education. Dr. John Barge, state superintendent, greeted the group, applauded their success and then shared his vision for Georgia education. He also shared his reason for being so passionate about education, and encouraged the students to "write their own story."
Several other speakers addressed the students and engaged them in active problem solving. Dr. Mike Buck urged students to pursue what they love, and explained common core curriculum. The students had the opportunity to talk with Barge over lunch and give some input during the sessions regarding career pathways and the teacher evaluation process.
When asked to describe with an adjective a favorite teacher, the students responded with "passionate, enthusiastic, caring, and knowledgeable" to list only a few.
The representatives from the Dept. of Education stated after the meeting that "This is an incredible group of students who asked hard questions and are adding valuable input to the process of making Georgia education exceptional."
Sneathen said she enjoyed the meeting, learned a lot about the educational process in Georgia, and “is excited for upcoming students in the system due to all the great changes ahead."
She said she felt honored to meet Barge and have the opportunity to talk with him about issues facing students in education today. The student advisory council will meet one more time in Atlanta in the Spring to complete their term.