New Utah Student Advisory Council forms, holds 1st meeting

A Park City High School student, Daniel Bernhardt, was recently selected to the Utah State Board of Education Student Advisory Council, a newly placed committee of which junior and senior high school students periodically discuss with members of the Board “how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Utah and provide feedback — from a student perspective — on critical issues impacting Utah students and schools.”

Bernhardt, who is visually impaired, completes the 15-member council — each of who joined because of their interests in such things as mental health, access to technology, homelessness, and school funding. And the members represent the LGBTQ community, ethnic minorities, rural Utah and even refugees.

At the council’s first student-led meeting last week, Bernhardt told The Park Record that it formed sub-committees around topics, such as school safety, representation of race and sexual orientation and updating standardized testing. “It was inspirational to be surrounded by students who were willing to put in the work to change schools,” he said.

And while not all Board members attended, Bernhardt also said to see Board members take a hands-off approach during the meeting was promising.

“It is often that it is a bunch of older people who choose what happens, but they don’t really have the full story. They don’t really know what’s actually going on inside the schools,” he said.

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