Eighteen new students selected for KDE's 2021-2022 Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Eighteen Kentucky public high school students have been named to the 2021-2022 Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced on May 28.

The council was established to provide feedback on critical issues impacting students and schools and works with KDE staff to develop ideas to strengthen student voice and transform education.

The group meets with the commissioner and KDE staff, both in person and virtually, to discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Kentucky.

“As we begin to define what learning will look like after the pandemic, it is essential that students have an active, purposeful voice in decision making,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “Empowering our students to help create our education mission and goals is critically important to the future of learning in Kentucky. I look forward to meeting with these exceptional young people as we work to imagine what school could be for the Commonwealth.”

The newly selected members will serve for the 2021-2022 school year. Sophomores and juniors will have the opportunity to serve again in fall 2022.

The new members include:

  • Dejah Armstrong, 12th grade, Central High School (Jefferson County)
  • Charleigh Browning, 11th grade, Marion County High School
  • Delaney Daugherty, 11th grade, Butler County High School
  • Arnav Dharmagadda, 11th grade, Russell High School (Russell Independent)
  • JuLeah Edie, 12th grade, Rowan County Senior High School
  • William Oliver Fegenbush, 11th grade, Montgomery County High School
  • Vinessa Fressola, 12th grade, Russell High School (Russell Independent)
  • Roxanne Lockard, 12th grade, Craft Academy (Great Crossing High School, Scott County)
  • Ella Luking, 11th grade, Frankfort High School (Frankfort Independent)
  • Jacob Lyons, 12th grade, Boyle County High School
  • Joy Ntakarutimana, 12th grade, Tates Creek High School (Fayette County)

  • Alexandra Perry, 11th grade, Ignite Institute (Boone County)
  • Spandana Pavuluri, 11th grade, duPont Manual High School (Jefferson County)
  • Sophia Retone, 11th grade, Atherton High School (Jefferson County)
  • Arivumani Srivastava, 12th grade, Gatton Academy (Greenwood High School, Warren County)
  • Dyllan Tipton, 12th grade, Spencer County High School
  • Bentley White, 11th grade, Kentucky School for the Deaf
  • Emma Whitehouse, 12th grade, Bullitt East High School (Bullitt County)

The 18 new members join 13 returning members, including:

  • Trevin Bevins, 12th grade, Shelby Valley High School (Pike County)
  • Madelyn Blankenship, 12th grade, Pulaski County High School
  • Gavin Breunig, 11th grade, Elizabethtown High School (Elizabethtown Independent)
  • Drake Calhoon, 11th grade, Calloway County High School
  • Rohin Dutt, 12th grade, duPont Manual High School (Jefferson County)
  • Soleila Elliott Gonzalez, 12th grade, Ballard High School (Jefferson County)
  • Jack Johnson, 11th grade, Marshall County High School
  • Logan Justice, 12th grade, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Fayette County)
  • Loren Little, 11th grade, Clinton County High School
  • Solyana Mesfin, 12th grade, Eastern High School (Jefferson County)
  • Anastasia Panaretos, 11th grade, South Oldham High School (Oldham County)
  • Samuel Smith,12th grade, Daviess County High School
  • Gracie Smith, 11th grade, Kentucky School for the Blind (Hardin County)

More than 350 students from across the Commonwealth applied for a spot on the advisory council this year. Applications were blind-scored by a panel of judges from across Kentucky.

Membership consists of three positions from each of the seven Kentucky Board of Education districts; four at-large student members; one student from the Kentucky School for the Blind, one student for the Kentucky School for the Deaf and student members enrolled in a career and technical education pathway.

The first virtual meeting of the 2021-2022 school year will take place in August.

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