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NCSS students named to Student Advisory Council
Sarah Schlueter

State School Superintendent Richard Woods has selected 64 Georgia students to serve on his 2015 Student Advisory Council and three of those students are from Newton County School System.

Logan House, who attends Alcovy High School and the Newton College and Career Academy, Sam Hay, of Eastside High School and Sarah Schlueter, a middle school student at Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, were selected for the prestigious council.

Throughout the school year, House, Hay, Schlueter and their counterparts from across the state will meet with Superintendent Woods to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom. Members of the Student Advisory Council will also discuss other issues related to education, and will serve as the Superintendent’s ambassadors to their respective schools.

“I have a lot of ideas in the ways that the school system can improve not just because of my experience as a student but also by my mom’s experiences in the school system both as a teacher and a teacher leader and a deliverer of instruction for educators,” said House, who also serves on Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey’s Student Advisory Council. “The focus for me will be my experience here in Newton County but I am definitely going to have the entire state in mind. I’m going to take some of the things that we talked about in our county superintendent’s advisory board and apply that to what we’ve discussed there so that I can take the representatives that we have here and take some of their ideas to a grander scale.”

Eastside junior Hay, who is also a member of Samantha Fuhrey’s Student Advisory Council added, “I’m just trying to make a difference on the state level. I’d like to learn how the state system works—how things get done.”

In addition to serving on Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey’s Student Advisory Council, both House and Hay are very involved in clubs at their schools. House serves as the executive on the Newton College and Career Academy’s Associate Board of Directors. Hay is a member of the Junior Classical League, Beta Club, Key Club, and the National Honor Society.

At the middle school level, seventh-grader Schlueter said she is honored and excited to represent Newton County School System on the State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.

“I wanted a chance to speak out for our schools,” Schlueter said. “A lot of people are concerned about the curriculum and I want to speak out for them. I want to accomplish knowing that I am helping the Newton County Schools and that I’m showing the respect for them. I’d like to see more programs that better explain the curriculum.”

Just like her two counterparts at the high school level, Schlueter also is involved in clubs that focus on making a difference in the school and community. She is a member of the Beta Club, Builders Club and Girl Scouts.
“It is essential, as we work to develop child-focused, classroom-centered policies, to hear directly from students,” Woods said. “These students feel the impact of our decisions every day and, if we’re going to improve their educational experience, we have to bring them to the table.”

Members of the 2015 Student Advisory Council were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 students who applied to serve on the council. Students were chosen based on the strength of their essay answers, which focused on their ideas for public education and ways their own educational experience could be improved.

“It was hard to narrow down the many outstanding applications, but it was refreshing and valuable to read these students’ feedback and ideas for the future of our educational system,” Woods said. I’m thrilled to work with the members of my Student Advisory Council, and I’d like to thank every student who took the time to apply and share his or her thoughts.”

Meetings of the State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council will be held February 27, March 11 and April 28 at the Georgia Department of Education’s offices in Atlanta.

“Congratulations to Logan, Sarah, and Sam--they have made their families and school system proud,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “I am elated that Newton County School System’s students have been selected to participate at the state level. It is gratifying to know that our students recognize that their voices are important to the conversations surrounding educational policy; they are directly impacted by the decisions made in the Legislature and the Georgia Department of Education. I am certain that our students will represent the Newton County School System well, and I look forward to hearing about their experiences.”

For more information on State Superintendent Richard Woods’ Student Advisory Council, contact Matt Cardoza in the Georgia Department of Education’s Communications Office at