The Boys & Girls Clubs’ Superintendent Advisory Council, which is a board made up of alumni from our STAR Leadership Training program with representation from every high school across the Sarasota County Schools district, hosted its annual Superintendent School Forum at the Suncoast Technical College Conference Center on Tuesday, January 31. More than 80 teens participated through the facilitation of open discussions between high school students and school district officials with focus on improving Sarasota County Schools.
Each year, the Council works closely with their classmates and administration at their respective schools to identify challenges and concerns. With the support of the Superintendent of Schools and the Executive Director of High Schools, the Council organizes and holds the Superintendent School Forum.
At this year’s Forum, students worked alongside district officials to find solutions for their identified challenges and presented the proposed solutions to all in attendance. The discussion focused on many topics from Availability of the Arts in Schools to Technology and Electronic Usage. Following the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a Question & Answer session with Superintendent Lori White and incoming Superintendent Todd Bowden. Both were incredibly thoughtful and thorough in their responses.
“The forum was important not only for students to learn about their school district but also for district advisers to learn more about students’ concerns and their county, in hopes of improving it,” said Bianca, sophomore at Pine View School and Chair of the Council.
Over the next month, the Council will be reviewing the recommendations and comments made during the Superintendent School Forum to compile and present a report to incoming Superintendent Bowden.
As this event has resulted in real policy change in our school system in years’ past, teens in attendance remain hopeful that their voices will serve to implement the changes they’d like to see in their schools.
“Being a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Superintendent’s Advisory Council makes me feel better about the footprint I leave on my community,” said Council member and Venice High sophomore Collin. “I feel as though I’ve grown tremendously as a leader and have started to come out of my introverted shell. I’ve made countless friends in my county and have had many networking opportunities! I can’t thoroughly explain how amazing this experience is!”