The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Students have regular meetings with school, district leaders

Photo by Smoke Signals
The GRC Superintendent Council is a unique opportunity for Principal Toy (back left), Supt Howard (middle left) and Board member Billy Bennett (front left) to meet with students about concerns and goals.

Not a lot of high schools have the unique opportunity of the Superintendent of Schools sitting down monthly with a group of students to listen and spend time.

This is a reality for students at GRC.

Superintendent Dustin Howard doesn’t think there’s anyone better for him to spend time with. He sees the Superintendent Student Advisory Council as an opportunity for him as well.

“For me personally, the Advisory Council is special because it gives students a direct link to the superintendent of Clark County Public Schools,” said Mr. Howard. “In a reciprocal manner, it also gives me direct access to students who are experiencing the product of Clark County Public Schools. Who better to ask than the people who are directly experiencing the positives and the areas of growth?”

Last year, Mr. Howard put together his “Superintendent Student Advisory Council,” and it’s underway for the second year. This year, it has a new name, and a new vision.

The Superintendent and Principal Student Cohort (SPSC) is a group of students, nominated by teachers, who show great leadership in their classrooms.

About 20 students meet with Mr. Howard and GRC Principal Luke Toy monthly.

“We did try to be inclusive by finding students who represent all groups of GRC students,” Mr. Howard said. “Further, our vision was not only to represent all students in GRC, but have connections with the entirety of the building.”

Last year the Council talked a lot about steps they’d like to take to better their school and community. This year, they hope to take more action and get some rules and changes in place. Change is the goal for this council.

Mr. Howard has been collaborating with Principal Toy to make this year’s group more efficient. Both leaders attend the monthly meetings and have open conversations with the students about a variety of topics.

With the Central Office, GRC Admin, and students working together directly, this year should have multiple meaningful outcomes.

“I want the group of students working with me and Mr. Toy to really take ownership of the process versus attending meetings monthly,” Mr. Howard said. “Last year we piloted the Council and were able to establish connections with outside agencies including local government, the Industrial Development Authority, Central Office, and CCPS Board members. That was an important start but now we have to begin the work of making decisions and changes that are needed based on student input.”

A main goal of this Cohort is to get students involved in their high school experience. Mr. Howard makes sure the students are interested in the topics being discussed and that they are passionate about the changes they’re making.

The Council has had one in-person meeting where leadership positions were chosen. Junior Annah Wilson is the chair, and senior Zach Ross is the vice chair.

“As vice chair, I want to help execute the goals that we started to think of last year,” said Zach. “I want to utilize the relationships we built with community members from our time on the council last year to help us achieve goals regarding youth in our school and Winchester. I get to work with other Council members and the Admin to discuss these ideas, which is really cool.”

The SPSC is all about making connections in the community and positive changes for the students.

This year they are working toward bigger and better things. While their work was mostly behind the scenes in last year’s pilot program, they are hoping that this year, everyone at GRC will see what they have been working for.

“I can’t wait to work alongside the other members of the Council to gain a better understanding of our community and to create a bigger impact on the Clark County school system,” said senior Baylee King.

Student involvement is always needed in a school, and it’s not always received.

Superintendent Howard is known for being student centered, and the Superintendent and Principal Student Cohort is a perfect example.

“I’m ecstatic about expanding the student voice in our school system,” said Howard, “and this is just one way we are trying to provide that experience.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cady Johnson
Cady Johnson, Multimedia Staff
Although there may be photos and first-hand witnesses to tell you the world has been colored for ages, they were all fooled. The whole world was actually black and white until February 26th, 2007, when Cady Johnson was born. Cady would describe herself as bright and outgoing, with a colorful personality. She is also awaiting her award for the biggest Swiftie of all time. Other than listening to Taylor Swift, her other hobby is clogging. She has been a competitive clogger for twelve years and loves performing and being on stage. If she had a theme song it would be New Romantics by Taylor Swift because it is so upbeat and happy, and can put anyone in a good mood.

Comments (0)

All Smoke Signals Student Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *