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Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts selects 2023-24 Student Advisory Council Members

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts has selected 50 high school and 51 middle school students to serve on his 2023-24 Student Advisory Council (SSAC). 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.

     “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,” Dr. Watts shares. “Elevating student voice is central to implementing our strategic plan, and we know when we do this well, we should see increased student and family engagement, enhanced student-adult communication, and increased trust between students and educators. These are critical ingredients to improving educational outcomes for each and every student,” Dr. Watts adds.

     This year, 400 applications were completed and scored by a diverse team of district office staff and leaders. Due to the overwhelming interest in participating in the 2023-24 SSAC this year, GCPS has offered alternate positions to 81 middle and high 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 also be called upon for other opportunities throughout the school year to elevate student voice through committees, work groups, surveys, and other opportunities as they arise.

     “We are thrilled to have such interest in this council again this year, but more importantly, we are proud that our council represents the students across our district,” Chief Engagement Officer Melissa Laramie says. “I am also excited about the changes we are implementing to ensure our meetings are relevant, engaging, and impactful on our community. These changes came from the Student Advisory Council last year, so it is exciting to see the impact their leadership will have on this council.”

Demographic Overview of 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council Members

  • 51 middle schools, high schools, and specialty schools are represented.
  • 53% are Free or Reduced meal eligible.
  • 30% are male.
  • 59% are in the gifted program.
  • 23% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 39% are African American, 25% are Hispanic, 12% are White, 2% are two or more races.

     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 the willingness to offer suggestions, innovative solutions, and their input on areas for improvement in a wide range of topics facing our schools.