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State school chief seeks student advisors

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Georgia's school superintendent, Kathy Cox, announced on Monday that she is now accepting applications for high school students who want to join her Student Advisory Council for the 2009-2010 school year.

Applications for the advisory council, which are available at all public high schools, must be submitted to the Georgia Department of Education by Sept. 30.

In a written statement, Cox said she takes feedback from the council into consideration when making decisions about statewide education.

The council, in effect, serves as a mechanism for students to get a few words in the ear of the state's top Kindergarten-through-12th-grade education official.

"For several years now, I've had the pleasure of working closely with students on my advisory councils," Cox said. "I listen closely to the advice and concerns of these students and share that information with others as we make statewide policy decisions."

The council will meet on Nov. 9, 2009, Jan. 25, 2010, and March 8, 2010. Anyone interested in joining should be available to attend all three meetings, Georgia Department of Education Spokesman Matt Cardoza said in a written statement. Eligibility for membership on the council is limited to high school students, according to Cardoza.

There are typically, approximately 50 seats on the council, and applications for membership into the advisory body are reviewed by Georgia Department of Education officials, according to the department's web site.

Last year, officials announced that 700 high school students applied for seats on the council, and only 55 were chosen.

Among the students chosen were then-high school seniors, William Jordan (from North Clayton High School) and Pushkara Chaganti (from Union Grove High School), who represented Clayton and Henry counties respectively on Cox's 2008-2009 Student Advisory Council.

Any student, who would like more information about the council and the application process, may contact Courtney Burnett, the Georgia Department of Education's coordinator of external affairs, by phone at (404) 657-1340, or by e-mail at cburnett@gadoe.org.

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On the net:

Georgia Department of Education: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/