SPRINGFIELD – Student voices are wanted for the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2017-18 Student Advisory Council (SAC). High school sophomores, juniors and seniors (fall 2017) attending Illinois public high schools are invited to apply for service on the council.
SAC members learn about education issues in Illinois and provide feedback to the State Board of Education (ISBE). The students also research a topic of their choosing and present their findings at a state board meeting.
“ISBE values the voices and perspectives of students,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The Student Advisory Council’s research findings and feedback help inform ISBE’s policies and advocacy. SAC offers high school students a meaningful opportunity to engage around issues they see and experience every day and to learn from and collaborate with students from different backgrounds. I encourage students interested in government, policy, and public service to consider applying for the SAC and sharing their valuable voices with ISBE.”
The 2016-17 SAC examined the lack of awareness of mental health issues in Illinois public schools. The SAC’s presentation to the State Board on March 15 explored ways to strengthen connections between students, teachers, counselors and administrators and improve students’ academic, social, emotional and behavioral outcomes. View the presentation at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Student-Advisory-Council.aspx.
“SAC has given us a forum in which we can actually help influence policy,” said SAC member Sung “Shawn” Park, a senior at Metea Valley High School in Aurora. “Not only was it wonderful seeing other like-minded students in a room where we could discuss our shared passion, but we actually saw our work come to tangible benefits. SAC has inspired me to keep working in the public service field.”
Kathleen Rock, a member of the 2016-17 SAC and a junior at Byron High School, described her experience as motivating and inspiring. “Being able to meet and work with such a diverse group of students has allowed me to become a better thinker,” said Rock.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 26 and may be accessed at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Student-Advisory-Council.aspx.
ISBE established the SAC in 1975. Applicants undergo a competitive review process and must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and the ability to think creatively, work well in groups and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.