In November, the newly named 2012-2013 State School Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council will meet for the first time. Recently, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced his pick of some of Georgia’s brightest students who will have the unique opportunity to participate in state government. The goal is to invite students to the discussion table to express thoughts and ideas about issues that impact them and their peers.
Meet one new member, Brendan Bell, a sophomore student at Stockbridge High School in Henry County. Brendan wants to bring attention and solutions to the problem of high school dropouts. Brendan will get that chance now that Superintendent Barge has named him to the 50 member Georgia Student Advisory Council.
Dr. Barge said, “The Student Advisory Council allows me to hear directly from students in our schools and discuss major initiatives with them. The Council also gives students the opportunity to share with me their ideas and concerns, which we can use to shape future state policies.”
Brendan Bell takes this new responsibility seriously and looks forward to the chance to present some solutions addressing the state’s problem of school dropouts. Brendan says it’s the issue of school dropouts that lead him to apply for the Advisory Council. He knows that he will have the ear of the chief education official in Georgia.
Brendan says, “We need to focus on resources and supplies and after-school help for many of our students in school. When they don’t get certain things that could help them be successful, they think about dropping out and we need to stop that if possible.”
Brendan joins other Student Advisory Council members who can speak credibly on what students need to become successful adults. The Stockbridge High student has a 3.0 GPA, and is a member of the football team, band, and the JROTC. Brendan Bell knows he has a bright future ahead. He indicates that he is still mulling over a decision between attending college after high school, and entering the military. But as Brendan looks to his future, he is still concerned about his fellow students who, right now, can’t see a clear path for their futures.
Brendan’s family and the Stockbridge school family encouraged him to apply for the council. His mom, Dr. Carolyn Flemister-Bell, is the principal at Hampton Middle School. She says she knows Brendan will gain much from his experience, but she also knows he can contribute much to the discussion on education and how it is seen by today’s students.
Stockbridge High School Principal Eric Watson added, “I know that Brendan will be a great contributor to the State Student Advisory Council.”
Watson noted Bell’s honor student status and position as a leader in the JROTC program.
“He is a great representation of the quality students that we have at Stockbridge High School. Brendan is a very conscientious and reliable person. Truly, I believe that he has all of the skills necessary to be successful at any task put before him.”
Bell was among more than 750 applicants statewide who went through the application process which involved essay questions and an applicant’s ability and strengths in answering what they would bring to the discussion.
According to the Department of Education, the first meeting of the council will convene on November 28 at their offices in downtown Atlanta.