For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Students from Winnetka and Lemont will co-chair

SAC met during State Board of Education’s November meetings in Springfield

Springfield – Anna Bittman of New Trier High School and Michael Byerley of Lemont High School will serve as co-chairs for the 2006-2007 Student Advisory Council (SAC) to the Illinois State Board of Education. The two seniors were elected by the 2006-2007 members at the SAC’s November meeting held in Springfield.

“I’m excited to co-lead such a diverse group of students from around Illinois,” said Bittman, of Winnetka. “Each one of us brings so many different ideas to the table, and we have a great history of combining the ideas into presentations for the State Board of Education.”

The Student Advisory Council is comprised of 15 high school students from across Illinois. The SAC was originally formed in 1975 to bring student concerns to the attention of ISBE. The students who comprise the SAC are very diverse. They come from different geographic locations and ethnic backgrounds. The students appointed to the Student Advisory Council possess a strong work ethic, are creative and interested in public service.

“As a co-chairman, I have both the honor and responsibility to voice student body opinions directly to ISBE,” said Byerley, of Lemont. “This is a unique opportunity and one which has the potential to enlighten and aid the board in policy and legislative decisions.”

Additional officers elected were:

  • Vice-Chairman: Joya Anthony, a junior at East St. Louis High School in East St. Louis.
  • Secretary: Stephanie Matos, a senior at Carl Schurz High School in Chicago.
  • Parliamentarian: Samuel Schoenburg, a senior at Springfield High School in Springfield.

Both Bittman and Byerley served during the 2005-2006 academic school year, along with returning SAC members Nicholas J. Diaz, a junior at West Leyden High School in Chicago; and Andrea L. Lockley, a senior at East Richland High School in Olney.

Newly appointed SAC members include: Micah S. Berman, a junior at the University Laboratory High School in Urbana; Kent E. Kiefer, a senior at Hamilton County High School in Hamilton; Emma L. LePere, a junior at Belleville Township High School in Belleville; Amy Maldonado, a sophomore at the School for Social Justice High School, Little Village Campus, in Chicago; Alix M. Olian, a senior at Highland Park High School in Highland Park; Ryan H. Ornstein, a sophomore at Grayslake North High School in Grayslake; Allison K. Tharp, a senior at Newton Community High School in Newton; and a designated student from Chicago Public Schools.

As SAC members, the students can review Board programs and policies, and work with the Board to sponsor conferences related to student affairs. Students also have the opportunity to weigh-in on changes the State Board made to school programs and policies that could impact their own classroom experiences.

The Student Advisory Council will meet approximately three times during the 2006-2007 school year and the present their work to the State Board of Education at their meeting in May, 2007.