Two Newton County School System high school students have been selected to serve on Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods’ 2016-2017 Student Advisory Council. Of the more than 800 students in Georgia who applied for the prestigious council, only 108 were selected to serve, including Zackary Fallah, a junior at Newton High School, and Ralph Brown, a junior who attends both Eastside High School and the Newton College and Career Academy STEM Institute.
As members of the 2016-2017 Student Advisory Council, Fallah and Brown will meet with State School Superintendent Woods throughout the school year to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom. Members of the Student Advisory Council will also discuss other issues related to education, serve as Superintendent Woods’ ambassadors to their respective schools, and participate in service projects to benefit schools and students.
“Serving on the Student Advisory Council is a big responsibility,” Brown said. “I hear students talk about their school experiences and I think I will be a good voice to express their opinions to the superintendent and the council. I think there’s going to be a really interesting collection of ideas that get tossed around and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun discussing what we want to see happen in our counties and in our school districts. It will be interesting to compare how things are done in the different counties and work together on how we can improve all of our school districts.”
Fallah said he was excited about the prospect of helping to improve the state’s education system.
“Hopefully we can help change part of school education and make it better,” he said. “Students can help by giving information from our point of view on what’s working in our schools and we can provide ideas on what could be improved.”
He added that he looked forward to working with the other students selected to serve on the State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.
“I love meeting new people and having the chance to meet and learn from other students around the state is exciting,” said Fallah.
“Congratulations to Ralph and Zackary,” said Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey! “I am so proud that they are representing their schools, our students, and school system at the state level. Serving on the State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council ensures that our Newton County School System’s students’ voices are part of the state dialogue. Additionally, it is a fantastic opportunity for both Ralph and Zackary to expand their network of peers and to share their perspectives with students from across the state. I look forward to hearing about their experiences.”
Members of the 2016-2017 State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council were chosen based on the strength of their essay answers, which focused on their ideas for public education and the ways their own educational experience could be improved.
“Meeting with my Student Advisory Council has been, and will continue to be, an invaluable part of my decision-making process,” Superintendent Woods said. “To develop child-focused, classroom-centered policies, we have to hear directly from students. We can only improve their educational experience by bringing them to the table.”
Superintendent Woods added, “It was refreshing and valuable to hear these students’ feedback and ideas,” Superintendent Woods said. “This is a fantastic group of students with great ideas for the future of our educational system, and I can’t wait to work with them. I’d like to thank every student who took the time to apply and share their thoughts.”