VINTON–The Roanoke County School Board recognized members of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) at a reception on September 10 prior to the regular board meeting.
Two students from William Byrd Middle School (WBMS) and seven students from William Byrd High School (WBHS) serve on the committee with representatives from the other county middle and high schools.
Eighth graders Sydney Dietrich and Bryant Humphries represent WBMS. Senior Emily Krakow, juniors Allyson Dayton and Ryan James, sophomores Reilly Hatfield and Miles Wren, and freshmen Jada Karnes and Madelyn Nance represent WBHS.
According to Barry Trent, SAC advisor and Coordinator for Health, Physical Education and Driver Education for Roanoke County schools, the Student Advisory Council was formed at the request of the County School Board and became fully functional during the 2001-2002 school year.
SAC members serve “as advocates on behalf of all students and work cooperatively to improve the education and environment in all Roanoke County Schools and aid in communication among the students, the school administration, the School Board, and the community.”
Currently, members are chosen through a principal/student selection process. Generally they are chosen in middle school and serve until they graduate.
SAC representatives provide a voice on a number of important issues, which in the past have included block scheduling, nutrition policies and food service promotion, distance learning, technology issues, the bullying policy, class rank, Grade Point Average, the ten point grading scale, the school calendar, the dress code, drug testing, exam exemptions, laptops, and Advanced Placement classes. They are also involved in student community service projects.
The Student Advisory Council meets each month at the school board office. They also meet with their building principals to discuss pertinent issues.
One or more seniors from the council represent the group at the school board meetings each month and deliver a report on SAC activities. They are also allowed to participate in discussions at school board meetings “when appropriate.” They do not have voting privileges.
Being a member of the Student Advisory Council is considered to be quite an honor for the students selected. They are generally topnotch students and well-rounded.
Krackow is a student at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) as well as WBHS, studying engineering. She plays soccer and lacrosse and is a member of the Leo Club.
Dayton is an art student and belongs to the Leo Club and the Byrd House Club. She participates in cross country and track. James attends the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School as well as WBHS, participates in cross country and track, and is a member of the Leo and Byrd House clubs.
Hatfield attends Governor’s School, dances with Floyd Ward, participates in cross country, and is a member of the yearbook staff. Wren is actively involved at Vinton Baptist Church.
Karnes plays softball and basketball. She is an active member of New Hope Christian Church and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Nance is also a member of the FCA, plays on the school junior varsity volleyball team, and is active at Vinton Baptist.
Dietrich is on the yearbook staff, a member of the WBHS/WBMS Archery Club, and the gifted art program. Humphries plays soccer, is involved in the youth program at Bonsack Baptist, and a member of the gifted art program.
The SAC program is considered to be an integral part of policy-making in Roanoke County Schools. SAC members offer a student’s perspective on many policies proposed by the school board. Their opinions are welcomed and valued.