Central Student, Bibb Parent Selected for Superintendent’s Advisory Councils | Best Of
A Central High School freshman and the mother of two students at Miller Magnet Middle School were named this fall to State Schools Superintendent Dr. John Barge’s Student and Parent Advisory Councils.
Fabian Kopp and Monya Rutland have already met with their respective councils and are excited to be part of the discussion about schools in Georgia.
Mr. Kopp, 15, is one of 50 on the state superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. The group had its first meeting this week and will meet once more next semester.
As members of the council, these students will advise Dr. Barge on how state policies are having an impact in the classroom, according to the Georgia Department of Education. The Student Advisory Council will also discuss other education-related issues and will serve as the superintendent's ambassadors in their respective schools.
More than 750 students from 121 districts applied to be a member of the Student Advisory Council and answered essay questions. Students were chosen based on the strength of their essay answers.
Mr. Kopp is a member of Central’s Chess Club and interested in joining the soccer team. While a student at Miller Magnet Middle School, he participated in the Mustang Choir, was on the school’s Academic Team, and played soccer. He has three younger siblings, a sister and two brothers at Miller and Heritage Elementary School.
He decided to apply for the Student Advisory Council “because I thought it would be interesting to see how Georgia approaches my education and how it all works.”
“I think it will be an interesting experience and later on in life I think this will be a good way to prepare for my career as a diplomat,” he said.
Mrs. Rutland is one of 36 parents from around the state who were selected to sit on the Parent Advisory Council, which met for the first time in October.
Mrs. Rutland and her husband, Charles, have three children: Elijah, an eighth-grader at Miller Magnet Middle School; Edna, a sixth-grader at Miller; and Thomas, 4. She currently serves as Vice President of Miller’s PTO and volunteers with a number of the school’s clubs and organizations such as FBLA and the Drama Club.
“My approach is to just be there when needed or asked, it doesn't matter what it is,” she said of her involvement in her children’s school. “I think the only way our schools are going to be successful is by having parents involved. Not only do I make that commitment, I also work to get other parents involved too, regardless of how much or how little.”
This is Mrs. Rutland’s second year serving on the superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. She said her first year was more of an introductory year and that as soon as she understood what was expected, it was over.
In her second year, she hopes to have the opportunity to implement some ideas learned from being a judge on the Family Friendly Council.
“That was an experience that allowed me to visit schools around the state to see what they were doing to make their schools more family friendly,” she said. “I was blown away by all of the creative, yet low- to no-cost ideas that were being used to make parents feel welcome and get them involved!”
Members of the Parent Advisory Council will meet twice more this school year to discuss education issues in Georgia. Their primary focus will be increasing parent and family engagement to ensure student success, according to the state DOE.
Mrs. Rutland said the group also will learn how new state guidelines such Common Core are designed to improve student performance and outcomes.