SPRINGFIELD – As more than 2.1 million students statewide get back into the swing of things for the 2006-07 school year, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and State Superintendent Randy Dunn today announced that 15 outstanding sophomores, juniors and seniors from across Illinois have been selected to represent their peers on the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Student Advisory Council.
“These students were selected because of their service to their schools and communities, and because of their interest in Illinois education,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “They have the unique opportunity to provide input to the State Board of Education and shape programs and policies based on their perspectives. It’s an important responsibility and one that I think these young leaders are ready for.”
The Student Advisory Council was originally formed in 1975 to bring student concerns to the attention of ISBE. The students appointed to the Student Advisory Council possess a strong work ethic, are creative and are interested in public service.
“The Illinois State Board of Education is thrilled to welcome the newest members of the Student Advisory Council and look forward to having the opportunity to continue to work with returning members,” from ISBE Chair Jesse H. Ruiz. “These outstanding young people provide ideas, information and insight to the board, and we are excited to have the opportunity to work with them.”
For the 2006-07 school year, five students are returning to the Student Advisory Council, and ten new students were selected through a competitive application and review process.
The new Student Advisory Council Members are:
· Joya A. Anthony, junior, East St. Louis Senior High School
While attending high school, Joya has been involved in track through ‘Winning in Life,’ a program headed by native Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee that teaches leadership skills, discipline and citizenship. The program teaches students to be successful in the classroom and life. She is also involved in several scholarly organizations. Joya is the 16-year-old daughter of Joseph and Cheryl Anthony of East St. Louis.
· Micah S. Berman, junior, University Laboratory High School
Micah, 16, is an active student both inside and outside the classroom. He manages all video productions for the school, including theater productions, senior graduation videos, alumni videos and athletic videos for all sports and seasons. He also served as Class President his sophomore year and was re-elected for his junior year. Outside the classroom, Micah is the web administrator for the Champaign Telephone Company. Other achievements include winning the local C-SPAN writing contest and honors by Scholarship Bowl for International Relations. Micah is the 16-year-old son of Glenn and Colleen Berman of Urbana.
· Kent E. Kiefer, senior, Hamilton County High School
Since his freshman year, Kent has been involved with the Hamilton County Senior High’s chapter of the FFA. He has served as junior president and is the current vice-president. While involved with FFA, Kent helped organize and then acted as the moderator for a forum of local sheriff candidates. As a community development project through FFA, he also organized a ‘Safety Day Maize’ for second and third graders and a second ‘Safety Day for Children’ with Bobby and Jerry Sloan’s ‘Hand in Hand’ foundation. Kent is the 17-year-old son of Dwight and Marian Kiefer of Dahlgren.
· Emma L. LePere, junior, Belleville Township High School
Emma’s numerous extracurricular activities includes Volunteer West, which promotes volunteering with the school; Student Council, where she served as class representative and helps organize fundraisers and blood drives for her school; and Lifesavers, a group that spreads awareness and information about smoking, drinking, abuse and anorexia. This year, Emma will be working as a reporter for the school yearbook, Bellevinos. Outside of school, Emma volunteers at the local humane shelter, where she put in 86 hours last year. Emma is the 16-year-old daughter of Rusty and Vicki LePere.
· Amy Maldonado, sophomore, School for Social Justice High School, Little Village Campus
While in high school, Amy has been involved in the baking club, drama club, book club and photography club. She’s also been involved in the school’s voluntary honors program and has volunteered time to help fellow students apply for financial aid. After high school, Amy wants to study either communications or social work. She is the 15-year-old daughter of Norma Del Angel and Joe Maldonado of Chicago.
· Stephanie Matos, senior, Carl Schurz High School
Stephanie is an active member in the Senior Council and currently serves as Class President. She is also involved in numerous extracurricular activities and clubs at school. After high school, Stephanie wants to study law and business, and travel as much as possible. She is the 17-year-old daughter of Heriberto and Daisy Matos of Chicago.
· Alix M. Olian, senior, Highland Park High School
Since her freshman year, Alix has been involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities, all of which have a common goal of improving the lives of others. As Charity Drive Committee Head her junior year for the Student Senate, Alix helped organized a month’s worth of school-wide charity events that raised more than $163,000 for the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. This year, Alix will serve as president for Model United Nations and Teen Director of Operation Snowball, a district-wide program that encourages students to make healthy choices. Alix, 17, is the daughter of Robert and Terri Olian of Highland Park.
· Ryan H. Ornstein, sophomore, Grayslake North High School
During his freshman year, Ryan was involved in football and a variety of community service projects. He is a published poet and had his artwork reproduced on popcorn tins for Trail End popcorn. For his Eagle Scout project, Ryan helped design and build a playground at an area Early Education Center, where his mother is a teacher. The ‘Field of Dreams’ was funded by $20,000 in donations and built with volunteer labor that Ryan organized. Ryan is the 15-year-old son of Steve and Clarese Ornstein of Round Lake Beach.
· Samuel E. Schoenburg, senior, Springfield High School
Samuel is very involved both inside the classroom and on the soccer field. He has been a member of the Scholastic Bowl Team since his freshman year and served as scholastic bowl team captain for three years. For two years, Samuel has played soccer and was named Academic All-Conference in Soccer by the Illinois High School Association. He was also named All-Conference for Scholastic Bowl. Samuel has served as class representative his freshman, sophomore and junior years, and will serve as SHS Student Council president during his senior year. Samuel is the 17-year-old son of Bernie and Kim Schoenburg of Springfield.
· Allison K. Tharp, senior, Newton Community High School
During her senior year, Allison will serve as president of the Beta Club and National Honor Society, as well as captain of the varsity volleyball team. She is also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Care Club and Pep Club. Other community activities include volunteering at local nursing homes, ringing bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas and umpiring baseball games in the summer. Allison also plays catcher on the high school softball team and serves as manager of the girl’s basketball team. Allison is the 17-year-old daughter of Gina and Steve Fox of Ste. Marie.
The following five students also served during the 2005-06 academic school year:
· Ariel J. Austin, junior, King College Prep High School
Ariel Janiece Austin, daughter of Renita Austin, of Chicago, is a student at King College Prepatory High School. Ariel enjoys participating in sports such as basketball and softball. She is a member of the Marching Band, Poetry Club, and Sweet Holy Spirit Church, where she is assistant to the youth pastor and to the lead servant of the H.U.G. (Hearts Used by God) Ministry, which provides tutoring, mentoring, trips and other activities for teenage girls. She hopes to continue to play basketball, perhaps professionally. Ariel plans to major in psychology and minor in theology so that she can become a doctor and an evangelist.
· Anna K. Bittman, senior, New Trier High School
Anna Bittman, senior, New Trier High School, Winnetka is back for her second year on the Student Advisory Council and served as secretary last year. While in high school, Anna has been involved in numerous programs and activities, including playing trumpet for seven years; helping other students through the student tutoring program; and ‘Voices In Prevention,’ or VIP, which is a group of teens that visits area middle schools to talk about teen issues such as drugs and alcohol and the importance of making the right decisions. This year Anna will serve as president of New Trier’s student governing body, Student Alliance.
· Michael L. Byerley, senior, Lemont High School
Michael Byerley, son of Maria and William Byerley of Lemont, is a student at Lemont Township High School. Michael is a member of the basketball team, Mathletes and Student Council. He has participated in Foreign Language Club, Model United Nations, Social Studies Club, Community Service for Everyone, the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering competition, the School-wide Bridge Building Competition for physics, the School-wide Race Challenge and Inkspot Magazine, a publication sponsored through Junior Achievement. Michael volunteers for programs that serve senior citizens and the University of Chicago hospital.
· Nicholas J. Diaz, junior, West Leyden High School
Nick Diaz, son of Jose and Rita Diaz of Northlake, is a student at West Leyden High School. Nick is involved in many activities at school including the Principal’s Advisory Board, Math Team, Model United Nations, the Honors Plus Program, the Class of 2008 Advisory Board, and the Barbecue Club. Music is Nick’s passion, and he participated in Marching Band and is a member of the cello section of Chicago’s Protégé Philharmonic. Nick hopes to attend a prestigious music school or university and pursue a career in music and business.
· Andrea K. Lockley, senior, East Richland High School
Andrea Lockley, is a senior at East Richland High School and has been involved in the speech club, pep club, Spanish club and history club. She also played golf on the high school’s team for three years. Andrea is the former president of the Interact Club, an organization that works alongside the area’s local Rotary International Club. After graduation, Andrea plans to attend Eastern Illinois University and major in secondary education with a focus on social studies. Her goal is to teach history at the high school level for several years, before continuing her education in hopes of being a high school principal.
Members may attend Board meetings, can review Board programs and policies, and may work with the Board to sponsor conferences related to student affairs. Members may also have the opportunity to weigh-in on changes the State Board made to school programs and policies that could impact their own classroom experiences. Changes that started in the 2006-07 school year include:
- Illinois expanded the Consumer Education curriculum to include an understanding of the basic concepts of financial literacy, including installment purchasing, budgeting, savings and investing, banking, understanding simply contracts, state and federal income taxes, personal insurance policies, and price comparisons, all in an effort to keep up with today’s evolving world and economy.
- School districts may now make suitable provisions for instruction in bullying prevention. Bullying prevention instruction includes understanding student victimization, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, and strategies for student-centered problem solving.
- To improve road safety for all Illinois residents, a parent or guardian must now certify that an un-emancipated minor has received 50 (rather than 25) hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in order for the minor to receive a graduated driver’s license. At least ten of those hours must have been completed at night.
- At the start of the school year, and in response to the federal ‘Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004’ all districts are now required to have a wellness policy in place with the objective of improving school nutrition, promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity in their district.