Gardner Newman students named to student advisory council

Published 8:29 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Recently, three Gardner Newman Middle School students from Troup County School System were proud to learn they were selected to the 2017-2018 Student Advisory Council headed by State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

Trevor Booten, a seventh grader, and Ka’Various Perry and William Pitts, both eighth graders, said they were eager to make a difference as members of the committee.

All three students completed applications and submitted an essay on how they could make a difference in education.

Perry said, “I can make a difference by sharing with the state that students need more hands-on learning and different environments. It can help teach us how the state standards apply to careers we may want to go into in the future.” Both Booten and Pitts agreed because they said learning in different environments outside of the classroom was included in their essays, as well.

Throughout the school year, Booten, Perry and Pitts, along with 142 other middle and high school students from around the state, will meet with 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, serve as the superintendent’s ambassadors to their respective schools and participate in service projects to benefit schools and students.

“Every year, it is so valuable to hear directly from students through my Student Advisory Council,” Woods said. “In the past, we have made direct changes based on student feedback, and I look forward to working with these 142 students who I know will make an impact. I’m so grateful for every student who took the time to apply and share their thoughts.”

They know this honor will allow them to possibly apply other learning ideas from across the state.

“I am looking to hear what other middle schools around the state are doing to help students in our age group learn. If it is something we can bring back and share with our school then I would love to do that,” Booten said.

“As we understand the issues across the state, we can come up with a way to solve them as a group. Learning what the issues are and problem solving can be something we bring back to Gardner Newman,” Perry said.

The young men are also looking to learn soft skills that help them advance in their future careers, like teamwork and issues management. Pitts stated he will look for a career that helps the environment. Booten looks to advance to the medical field. Perry said he seeks to be a lawyer or politician when he exits high school.

Currently, all three students are participating in some aspect of learning they love through middle school choice classes.

Perry said, “I am in InVenture Challenge. It is a new class elective, and in that class we solve problems through projects. We have to build something that solves the problem based on certain criteria and guidelines.”

The most recent project his team had to solve was fashioning a book bag for students on crutches so they could get from one class to another.

Pitts has been playing Alto Saxophone since the sixth grade and he chose to continue his classroom lessons through fine arts. Booten chose the Green Powertech course where he has currently been learning about 3D printing.

State Advisory Council members were selected from a pool of more than 1,500 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 as well as their community service experience.

The students selected attend public schools all over the state.

Meetings of the Student Advisory Council will be held Oct. 3, Jan. 16 and April 10 for middle school students.