Utah State Board of Education names new Student Advisory Council members

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) appointed nine new students to its 15-member Student Advisory Council (SAC) as voting members, in its meeting on November 4. The students will join the returning six members to advise the USBE on issues relevant to high school students throughout the state.

They were selected following an application period this fall. Appointed students attend both charter and traditional schools and represent diverse backgrounds. They report interest in issues including: mental health and bullying, access to personalized competency based learning, homelessness, issues perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. credit recovery, college readiness, and school funding.

One student member from each of the 15 USBE voting districts serves on the SAC. The idea of creating a Student Advisory Council was initiated in 2018 by a student advocating for the involvement of student voices in statewide education policy decisions. The SAC has recommended changes to educational standards, later start times for high schoolers, increased mental health supports, greater and more equitable access to school counseling services, and more diverse perspectives in course content. The SAC’s advice has been sought by the Board as well as legislators and even First Lady Abby Cox. The SAC will meet every six months to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students and offer recommendations on these decisions to the full Board. Membership is split between grades 11 and 12.

Newly Appointed SAC Members

State Board Voting DistrictStudent NameSchool
1Carter GaleInTech Collegiate Academy
3Jessica CastanedaWendover High School
4Emma EvansLayton High School
6Joey ColemanCopper Hills High School
8Alexis ThompsonMurray High School
9Sophia ThompsonLone Peak High School
10Geonyoung Sarah ParkSummit Academy High School
11Kathrynne PullanRiverton High School
15Sojung BokDSU Success Academy

New USBE SAC Members 1

Returning SAC Members

State Board Voting DistrictStudent NameSchool
2Jacob PetersonOgden High School
5Sunny Price-HuishBountiful High School
7Dhati OommenWest High School
12Kelsie CallKarl G. Maeser Prep. Academy
13Paige BallardSpringville High School
14Dallin BraunEmery High School

Returning USBE SAC Members 1