The most recent year of the Kyrene Student Superintendent Council came to a close on Wednesday, with students presenting to superintendent Dr. David Schauer and governing board president Michelle Hirsch a variety of topics relevant to the district as a whole.
For the past few months, 31 Kyrene students visited the district offices on the first Wednesday of each month to meet with Schauer and discuss current events while getting a feel for what the superintendent does and how a school district operates. The students said that close interaction with Schauer and other Kyrene employees left them with a better understanding about their district and how it deals with issues that arise.
“I felt like I had a voice and I was making a difference,” said Tori Roberts, a fifth grade student at Kyrene del Milenio in Ahwatukee Foothills. “We give our opinions and it felt like they are listening.”
The students were broken up into four groups and each group was tasked with creating a presentation for a mock governing board meeting with some students playing governing board members. Different topics included “Creating a School Culture of Acceptance,” “Creating a Better Cafeteria Experience,” “Bullying Awareness,” and “Start and Dismissal Time Equity.” Each group presented an issue and offered a resolution after doing their own research during a previous meeting.
“I think it’s been an amazing experience and I think the best part has been when we get to tell (Schauer) how we would make the district better,”said Alison Cohen, fifth grade student at C. I. Waggoner Elementary School. “We were working on start and dismissal time and for that we had to talk to bus drivers and learn their routes and how we could make it better overall.”
The Student Superintendent Council is an annual group that takes one fifth grade student from each elementary school and two from each middle school. They must submit a one page essay at the beginning of the year about how they would improve the district overall.
“The original idea was we needed to hear directly from the students about their experiences in the school,” Schauer said. “It started as a small group with informal discussions about how things go. But now it has evolved into something more structured and we discuss topics more thoroughly.”
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