Two Bonneville Joint School District 93 high school students have been selected for the State Department of Education’s recently formed Student Advisory Council.
The students are Audrey Harmon, a ninth-grader at Bonneville High School, and Caleb Pebley, a junior at Hillcrest High School. The education department announced the selections for the 13-member council in a Wednesday news release.
“Some of the best and most inspiring moments in my seven years as superintendent have come from meeting and hearing from students,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, in the release. “Their perspective and insights on Idaho’s public education experience are invaluable, especially as we work to recover from the pandemic’s impacts on schools. So I put out a call for advisory council members last spring, hoping to tap into this amazing resource.”
Nearly 60 applicants responded expressing interest to be on the council, the release said. The council originally was planned to have 12 members, but Ybarra expanded it to 13.
Some of the issues raised by council members range from school funding to eliminating cliques and also include time management, mental and emotional health, social issues, STEM options and meeting the needs of students with disabilities, the release said. The education department will consider suggestions or issues from council members.
“I’m excited by their diversity — seven girls and six boys in grades 4 through 12 from districts large and small in all regions of the state, with a wide range of priorities and interests — and especially excited by their ideas and passion for education,” Ybarra said in the release. “Each has a parent or guardian willing to accompany the student to our quarterly meetings, and I’m grateful to those adults for their commitment.”
The council’s first meeting is on Sept. 20 in Boise.
The other 11 members of the council are:
• Bridget McNamee, fourth grade, Dalton Elementary School, Coeur d’Alene School District
• Emma Paddlety, ninth grade, Lapwai Middle/High School, Lapwai School District
• Adeline Perry, fifth grade, Valley View Elementary School, Boise School District
• Grady Noble, seventh grade, North Junior High, Boise School District
• Zayan Virani, 10th grade, Timberline High School, Boise School District
• Michael Gusinow, 11th grade, Renaissance High School, West Ada School District
• Joselyn Gutierrez, 12th grade, Caldwell High School, Caldwell School District
• Ocie Atagi, sixth grade, New Plymouth Middle School, New Plymouth School District
• Brylee Williams, 12th grade, Weiser High School, Weiser School District
• Hayden Barbre, eighth grade, Wood River Middle School, Blaine County School District
• Mila Gabiola, 10th grade, Highland High School, Pocatello School District