Newton County School System (NCSS) students will have a voice at the state level as Newton County Theme School eighth-grader Gordon Everett was recently announced as one of only 142 students statewide selected to serve on Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods’ 2017-2018 Student Advisory Council. Over 1,000 students applied to serve on the council. 

As a member of the Student Advisory Council, Everett will meet with Superintendent Woods throughout the school year to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom. Members of the Student Advisory Council will also discuss other issues related to education, serve as the Superintendent’s ambassadors to their respective schools, and participate in service projects to benefit schools and students.

“I applied because I wanted to help my school and my county,” said Everett. “I just wanted to be the voice of the students in my county. Students should have a voice in their education because it has been a long time since the adults have been in school. Many things have changed. What they think they want to do may not be the best for the students. We are the ones experiencing it so it’s important that we have a say. Our advice may be beneficial.”

According to Everett, one of the suggestions he would like to recommend is to reduce the amount of standardized testing in the schools.

“Every year, it is so valuable to hear directly from students through my Student Advisory Council,” Superintendent Woods said. “In the past, we have made direct changes based on student feedback, and I look forward to working with these 142 students who I know will make an impact. I’m so grateful for every student who took the time to apply and share their thoughts.” 

“I think this will be a good experience and also a great opportunity to meet with the state school superintendent,” said Gordon, who also serves as a member of the Newton County Theme Schools robotics club and Beta club. “I was excited to learn I was selected. I’m looking forward to meeting the superintendent and other students selected to serve on the advisory council.”  

Members were selected from a pool of more than 1,500 students who applied to serve on the council. Students were chosen based on the strength of their essay answers, which focused on their ideas for public education as well as their community service experience. The students selected attend public schools all over the state.

“I’ve very proud of Gordon for this accomplishment,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County Schools. “I think it’s very important that students have a say in what happens in public education and I commend the state school superintendent for offering this opportunity for their voices to be heard. I have a student advisory council for the very same reason and the information and advice I have received from them has been invaluable. I look forward to Gordon representing our students at the state level; I know he’ll do an excellent job.”