Each year, State School Superintendent Richard Woods requests applications for his Student Advisory Council. These students in grades 9-12 serve on the council for the entire school year, and discuss state-level decisions and their impact on different regions of the state. Out of many applications, one of our very own Champions, Kayla, was selected to be a part of this year’s council!
Kayla is a very active GCA student, and says that she decided to apply for SSAC because she is “very interested in journalism and curious about how administrations run.” She says “I'm also critical of the policies I face everyday. With that in mind, I knew that my extracurricular activities, previous summer programs, and volunteer achievements suited me for an opportunity like SSAC. As a virtual charter school student for about 6 years, I believed I would have a unique perspective over other applicants. I'm still in shock that I was one of the few picked out of what an administrator said was more than 1,500 applications.”
SSAC terms are one year, and during the duration of her term Kayla will listen in on state-level decisions and offer feedback based on her experience in our district. As a virtual student, her perspective will be extremely valuable. After attending the first SSAC meeting, Kayla had this to share about how being a GCA student has impacted her: “Being a GCA student for so long has definitely taught me how to manage my time and motivate myself to do work. Attending GCA also eliminates years of conforming to peer pressure, so I tend to be quite bold in my friend groups and am not afraid to be the odd one out. The Princeton University Summer Journalism Program I was accepted to in May went online this summer, and despite everyone else at the program obviously being excellent students, I was the fastest to submit work. Though virtual school gets a lot of criticism for socially limiting students, I was always complimented for frequently engaging guest speakers and asking really thought-provoking questions during my summer programs.”
We are so proud of Kayla’s achievement and hope that other GCA Champions see what she has accomplished and strive to follow their own goals. When asked how she thinks her service will impact our students, Kayla says “Hopefully, my service will encourage students to be active in their communities and be confident in front of an authority, while still being respectful. At the SSAC meeting, we were constantly praised by policy-makers for being compassionate advocates. I hope every student here feels empowered to communicate with faculty and that both listen to each other. Our school can always be improved, and I hope that my position encourages the state to take our school more seriously and elevates the credibility of our student body.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Kayla! We are so excited to hear about all the amazing things you will do serving on the SSAC this year.