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Twenty-one high school students have been chosen to serve on the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2021-22 Student Advisory Council (SAC). The council includes 13 new and eight returning members from across the state. Student Advisory Council members serve as student advisers to the State Board and provide a unique perspective to help ISBE develop and implement important policy decisions.
“ISBE is so excited to welcome the newest cohort of the Student Advisory Council. This year’s Student Advisory Council is a diverse group of young adults who are ready to hit the ground running to help us address the academic and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “We look forward to working with the SAC members to provide all students with an enriching and safe in-person learning experience.”
The council will research and present to ISBE on topics affecting students’ success in Illinois. Students will focus on developing ways to respond to the achievement gap that has widened due to the COVID-19 pandemic; creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework; ensuring the safety and emotional well-being of students; and rethinking and strengthening teacher recruitment.
The council will continue to administer the Student Voices microsite at www.isbe.net/studentvoices. The Student Voices site provides an opportunity for students to ask and answer questions and access resources about preparing for college and career. Follow along with the council’s work on its independently managed Instagram account at www.instagram.com/isbe_sac.
The new members of the 2021-22 Student Advisory Council are:
• Oscar Boccelli, senior at Walter Payton College Prep High School in Chicago
• Harrison Clinton, senior at O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon
• Jayla Davis, sophomore at Springfield Southeast High School in Springfield
• Avery Heinonen, senior at Bloomington High School in Bloomington
• Kaylee Horn, junior at Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School in Carrier Mills
• Elle Jones, sophomore at Tuscola Community High School in Tuscola
• Amulya Jonnalagadda, senior at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville
• Anna Lagacy, senior at Mahomet-Seymour High School in Mahomet
• Lori Martinez, senior at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights
• Dhruv Patel, junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora
• David Ramirez, senior at Monmouth-Roseville High School in Monmouth
• Murad Shahzadah, senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire
• Ala’a Tamam, senior at Glenwood High School in Chatham
The returning members of the council are:
• Ranyia Cox, junior at East St. Louis Senior High School in East St. Louis
• Cruz Garza, junior at Zion-Benton Township High School in Zion
• Leo Krueger, senior at Vandalia Community High School in Vandalia
• Lia Rivera Mendoza, junior at Jefferson High School in Rockford
• Langston Span, junior at Champaign Central High School in Champaign
• Serena Thakkar, senior at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles
• Araha Uday, senior at Schaumburg High School in Schaumburg
• Eric Veal Jr., senior at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park
Members of the Student Advisory Council were introduced virtually at ISBE’s Board meeting today in Springfield. The State Board established the Student Advisory Council in 1975. Learn more at www.isbe.net/studentvoices.