Student Advisory Council meets at State Capitol to discuss how to strengthen public education system

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 19, 2017) – Many of Oklahoma’s student leaders met this morning with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister to discuss the state’s public education system and share their ideas about how to strengthen it. The gathering marked the first meeting of the 2017-2018 Superintendent’s Advisory Council, which consists of 99 high school students from across the state, 31 of whom are returning members who served on last year’s inaugural council.

“We are excited to be working with this outstanding group of Oklahoma students and grateful for their willingness to serve,” said Hofmeister. “It is so important that student voices inform the decisions we make in public education. They are not only its front-line stakeholders but the future leaders of our state and the parents of those we will serve in the coming years.”


The group gathered in the Blue Room of the State Capitol to discuss three of OSDE’s top initiatives: redefining the senior year, defining a well-rounded education, and ensuring safe, supported and engaged school communities. Students participated in small-group discussions and provided feedback on all three topics.

“I feel like a lot of kids don’t know what’s out there and don’t know their options until it’s too late,” said Sydney Smith, a second-year member from Bixby High School. “We need to get those options out there even before they start high school so they can have a path forward.”

Added Bridget DeLeon, from Elk City: “I think social media is so important. Kids don’t realize how it can impact their futures.”

Members remarked on the value of the council and the unique opportunities it affords students to collaborate with their peers around the state. 

“The State Department of Education values student input,” said Jack Williams of Bartlesville. “This is really the first chance many of us have had to meet with people from dramatically different districts, ranging from 30 kids in their graduating class to 400 or 500. It’s a really great opportunity.”

Hofmeister said today’s conversations were enlightening and productive. 

“Great young minds were at work today. We left with valuable student perspectives on a number of issues and look forward to collaborating with the group again at the next meeting.”

Members of the council were nominated by the superintendents of their districts. The group will meet again later this spring.

For a complete list of students and their districts, click here

Click here for photos from the Student Advisory Council meeting available for media use.

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Last updated on January 23, 2017