District 65 appoints students to 2021-2022 Superintendent Student Advisory Committee


Daily file photo by Patrick Svitek.

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Education Center, at 1500 McDaniel Ave. Students on District 65’s Superintendent Student Advisory Committee work directly with district administrators to improve student experiences.

Olivia Alexander, Senior Staffer

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 announced more than 30 new members of its 2021-22 Superintendent Student Advisory Committee last month.

The district established the committee last academic year to include student voices in its decisions. Students from the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth grades will participate.

Teachers and school principals selected two students from each school to be representatives. Ultimately, they nominated more than 30 students based on how they exhibited leadership traits and contributed to their school and local communities. 

District 65 Dean of Culture and Climate Elijah Palmer said the committee’s monthly meetings help administrators learn directly about what’s happening in district schools. 

“Oftentimes, we make all the decisions and put policies in place without even consulting with the students and scholars that we’re servicing,” Palmer said. 

The 2020-21 committee focused on improving remote learning, especially as it applied to middle school student schedules, career-readiness opportunities, electives and social studies curricula. 

District 65 community engagement facilitator Tania Margonza said students on this year’s committee will choose the specific topics they want to address. They will collaborate with district and school leaders, advocate for changes and raise awareness on the issues students in District 65 face. 

“The SSAC program allows students to lead and empowers them to take action in their community,” Margonza said. “As a result, students can create a better understanding on matters related to school climate and culture.” 

Palmer said the district hopes to also incorporate service learning in the committee programming this year by leading at least two community service outings.

Superintendent Devon Horton said the committee not only fosters leadership capabilities in young people, but it also connects district leadership with the district’s most important stakeholders: the students. 

As a new school year begins, Horton said he looks forward to seeing how students hope to learn, collaborate and achieve in District 65.

“We want to hear from our youth about what is going well in the district, what could be improved, and then support them through the process,” Horton said. “To truly personalize and enhance learning, the students’ voice is essential.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oliviagalex

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