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Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts selects 2022-23 Student Advisory Council Members

September 12, 2022

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts has selected 49 high school and 54 middle school students to serve on his 2022-2023 Student Advisory Council. Throughout the year, these students will meet with Dr. Watts to voice their ideas, share suggestions for improving our schools and our district, act as thought partners as they connect with fellow students, and build their leadership capacity alongside students from across the school district.

“Our Student Advisory Council is a priceless resource as we make decisions that impact students across our county,” Superintendent Dr. Watts said. “I am so excited to get to know the students on our council this year, to listen and learn from them as they share their perspectives and help us make the best possible decisions for all students in GCPS. Elevating student voice is central to implementing our strategic plan. When we do this well, we should see increased student and family engagement, enhanced student-adult communication, and increased trust between students and educators.”

Nearly 3,000 applications were started or submitted; almost 600 applications were completed and scored by a diverse team of district office staff and leaders. Due to the overwhelming interest in participating in the 2022-23 Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) this year, GCPS has offered alternate positions to 46 high school students and 42 middle school students. These SSAC Alternates will be called upon if a member from their school or cluster can no longer attend SSAC meetings. SSAC Alternates will be called upon for other opportunities throughout the 2022-23 school year to elevate student voice through committees, work groups, surveys, and other opportunities as they arise.

“Beyond the clear and overwhelming interest from our students to engage on a district-wide level and provide input directly to the superintendent, to know that our Advisory Council members so closely represent our students countywide makes this even more exciting,” Chief Engagement Officer Melissa Laramie said. “Our work now is to ensure our meetings are relevant, engaging, and that we provide student council members opportunities for meaningful influence on instruction, school culture, strategic priorities, and policies in our district.”

Demographic Overview of 2022-23 Student Advisory Council Members

High School

  • 49 SSAC Members, all high schools and academies are represented 
  • Grade levels: 37% seniors, 35% juniors, 18% sophomores, 10% freshman
  • 51% are Free or Reduced meal eligible
  • 35% are male
  • 63% are in the gifted program
  • 29% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 31% are African American, 22% are Hispanic, 14% are White, 4% are two or more races
  • 6% are either EL or Special Education Students

Middle School

  • 54 SSAC Members, all middle schools are represented   
  • Grade levels: 20.4% sixth grade, 35.2% seventh grade, 44.4% eighth grade
  • 46% are Free or Reduced meal eligible
  • 28% are male
  • 37% are in the gifted program
  • 11% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 44% are African American, 24% are Hispanic, 17% are White, and 4% are two or more races
  • 9% are either EL or Special Education Students

Dr. Watts sought students for this year’s council who will express views and opinions honestly, openly, constructively, and respectfully; who will work collaboratively with others; and who have a willingness to offer suggestions, innovative solutions, and their input on areas for improvement in a wide range of topics facing our schools. The first of four meetings for the SSAC is on Saturday, September 17.