Superintendent’s Advisory Board provides Student Voice in Utica Community Schools
Superintendent’s Advisory Board provides Student Voice in Utica Community Schools
Posted on 07/14/2019
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Applications are now being accepted for an Advisory Board that provides an important Student Voice in Utica Community Schools.

All Utica Community Schools students in ninth and tenth grades are invited to apply for available positions on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Board.

The advisory board was established in 2007 by Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns to create an avenue for UCS students to provide input on district issues and offerings.

“We are here to serve our youth, and the Advisory Board provides student leaders an opportunity to directly impact their learning environment,” Dr. Johns said.

Criteria for membership on the Board include: scholastic achievement, effort and determination; extra-curricular and/or community involvement, demonstrating leadership abilities; and critical thinking skills.

Members serve until graduation. Membership is open to ninth and tenth grade students attending the district’s four comprehensive high schools, the Utica Alternative Learning Center, the Utica Academy for International Studies or UCS junior high schools.

The Advisory Board meets at least four to six times annually with Dr. Johns. All topics are open for discussion, and the committee has influenced district initiatives related to technology, increased opportunities for rigor in academic courses, and the physical learning environment at schools.

The Advisory Board was the original force and is the annual organizer of the UCS Academic Blitz. The Blitz provides breakout sessions and informational booths that allow UCS families to explore course and program options and create an early plan for post-secondary education. More than 700 individuals typically attend the event.

Dr. Johns noted that members of the advisory board continue to serve as leaders throughout their lives as university students and in careers in government service and industry.

Lorenzo Santavicca, a former advisory board member and 2014 UCS graduate, was the first Michigan State University Student Body President to serve for two straight years. He is currently a policy specialist in the legal investigations unit at Google.

“The experience of serving students proved to be an influential moment for me as a young leader,” he said. “Learning from my peers and district leadership granted me the opportunity to build skills that led me to serve in bigger capacities after my high school education, such as Student Body President at Michigan State University. From serving on a student panel discussing our current initiatives on blended learning with a national nonprofit Digital Promise, to helping raise thousands of dollars for the Superintendent’s Scholarship, the advisory board is a perfect example of how UCS values student input and involvement in its future.”

Most UCS junior high and high school principals have also established their own Student Advisory Boards.

Applications are available for interested students through September 12 at: