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Ponca City School Student Selected to Serve on State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council


Ponca City Public School senior Payton Little has been selected to serve on the State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has named 97 Oklahoma high school students to her 2021 Student Advisory Council. This is the sixth consecutive year the group has been convened to assist Hofmeister and the Oklahoma State Department of Education in matters of policy.

Payton will meet with Hofmeister and student leaders from across the state to discuss the state’s public education system and to share their ideas about how to strengthen it. “Students have a lot to say about their education, and it is critical that we listen to them. The direct insight we receive from our students is incredibly valuable, and each year I am encouraged by the thoughtful reflection and fearless vision of these brilliant young leaders,” Hofmeister said.

The 2020 Student Advisory Council last met virtually in June, where students voice their challenges about learning amid a global pandemic and how racism impacts the classroom experience. Other past discussion topics have included the importance of personal financial literacy, increased awareness of student mental health needs, and how trauma can impede student success. Feedback from the Council has been instrumental in state-level initiatives to provide teachers more professional development in trauma-informed instruction, replace end-of-course high school testing with the ACT or SAT, and pilot Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP).

Recommended by their district superintendents, the students hail from across Oklahoma and represent rural, urban and suburban schools of all sizes. Forty-four are returning members who have served on the Council in previous years. The first virtual meeting of the Student Advisory Council is scheduled for January 26, 2021.