2023-2024 Student Advisory Council

Congratulations to the Illinois State Board of Education 2023-24 Student Advisory Council. The 20 members will provide ISBE with student perspectives related to educational concerns across the state.

  • Cole Buchanan is a junior at Benton Consolidated High School. This is his first year on the Student Advisory Council (SAC). In his free time, Cole enjoys spending time participating in his high school's events and at church and with his loved ones. Cole is involved in many things around his high school, such as Student Council, including the local and state levels; Youth and Government; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; the engineering team; and the varsity track and cross-country teams. After high school, Cole is interested in going into educational administration and political science.

  • David Castro is a senior at Intrinsic Schools Downtown Campus. This is his first year on the SAC. He is a founding member and secretary of Intrinsic’s Student Government, where he helped create the school constitution. He hopes to attend a four-year university and one day go to law school. He enjoys reading, writing, listening to Taylor Swift, and spending quality time with his friends.

  • Isaac Chang is a junior at Neuqua Valley High School. This is his first year on the SAC. Isaac enjoys mentoring his school’s STEM competition contestants and serves on the Principal’s Advisory Council. He also conducts R&D work as a research assistant. In his free time, Isaac likes to volunteer, swim, jog, play ping-pong, and modify 3D-printers.

  • Jarrell David is a sophomore at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy. This is his first year on the SAC. He is very involved with his community and works with the town’s mayor to advance the amount of student involvement in civic service. He aspires to continue to grow the Illinois educational system to be fair and equitable for all students. He hopes to attend Howard University or Morehouse College to study political science and secondary education. He lives by 1 John 4:8.

  • Jayla Davis is a senior at Springfield Southeast High School. This is her third year on the SAC. She participates in the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program, a program for students who aspire to be in the medical field. She plays the piano and is in the marching band, where she plays the alto saxophone. Jayla also volunteers at her church and is on her school volleyball team.

  • Emma Greenberg is a senior at South Elgin High School. This is her first year on the Student Advisory Council. She is passionate about education and plans to become a high school math teacher. Emma plays the clarinet and bass guitar, and leads Future Teachers Club, National Honors Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and the Marching Storm as Head Drum Major.

  • Kate Heitzig is a senior at Jersey Community High school. This is her first year on the SAC. She participates in Student Council and Class Council as a representative. She is enrolled in Advanced Construction classes to expand her knowledge in that field. She plans to attend Illinois State University next fall and major in interior design or construction management.

  • Victor Hinojosa is a junior at Waukegan High School. This is his second year on the SAC. On his free time, he’s an active member of his community, serving as a JROTC company commander and JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl commander and student member of the Waukegan CUSD 60 Board of Education. He also serves on the national staff of the High School Democrats of America as Midwest regional director. He additionally loves to bake, read a good novel, and listen to Taylor Swift.

  • Haleigh Hoffman is a junior at Bloomington High School. This is their first year on the SAC. Haleigh is a member of their school’s band, speech and debate team, and Model United Nations and is the leader of the Environmental and Pride Clubs. In their free time, Haleigh enjoys reading, crocheting, and watching cartoons with their friends.

  • Jenna Jiang is a senior at Eldorado High School. This is her second year serving on the SAC. She is active in numerous clubs and activities, including the speech team, Art Club, and the Beta Club. In her free time, she likes to do ceramics and crochet. She hopes to study international relations and economics in college.

  • Suha Khan is a junior at Plainfield North High School. This is her second year on the SAC. In her free time, Suha enjoys reading and painting. She also is involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including speech team, math team, tech crew, and the ASL Club.

  • Emma Lopez is a junior at Riverside Brookfield High School. This is her first year on the SAC. She is interested in the intersection of computer science and policy and is passionate about how technology can be utilized to support underrepresented communities. Emma is involved in numerous extracurricular activities in her free time, including the Organization of Latin American Students, newspaper, robotics, Girls Who Code, Girl Up, and Model United Nations. Emma plans to study computer science and policy.

  • Charlie McCormick is a senior at Westmont High School. This is his first year on the SAC. In his free time, he likes working on his painting projects and hanging out with his boyfriend. Charlie is a part of many activities, including being leader of his TRANNS organization, which helps create a safe space for transgender and gender-nonconforming students. He is a National Honors Society member, student director of the school’s lighting crew, is vice president of the STEAM Club, and co-runs a Latin American Cultural Association.

  • Naomi Saathoff is a senior at Highland High School. This is her first year on the SAC. She plays the trombone in the HHS wind ensemble and marching band and sings with the madrigal and a cappella choir. She participates in Model United Nations and on math team, and she bakes cakes or plays the piano in her free time.

  • Ovia Sundar is a senior at Barrington High School. This is her first year on the SAC. At school, she is co-captain of the Lincoln-Douglas debate team and president of Philosophy Club. She is passionate about public policy and working to create change in her community. In her free time, she likes to draw, make music, spend time with friends and family, and create oddly specific Spotify playlist names.

  • Jeffery Tong is a sophomore at Naperville North High School. This is his first year on the SAC. In his free time, Jeffery enjoys participating on his school Science Bowl team and playing the cello.

  • Sierra VanMeter is a junior at North Greene High School. This is her second year on the SAC. In her free time, she likes to volunteer in her community and is involved in Student Council.

  • Xavier White is a senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. This is his first year on the SAC. Xavier balances a rigorous course schedule and work schedule as a recreation leader for the South Suburban Special Recreation Association and as a caddie at Olympia Fields Country Club. He also is active in athletic and co-curricular endeavors. He participates in leadership as a Special Olympics unified partner, Chicago Fire FC/Special Olympics Illinois 2023 All-Star Unified Soccer team member, and as a Miracle League of Baseball Buddy. He is president of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society and is on the varsity baseball and football teams.

  • Grace White is a senior at Cobden High School. This is her first year on the SAC. She is a dedicated member of the Cobden High School band. She also participates in numerous school clubs, such as Beta Club, Cobden Youth and Community Advocates, Educators Rising, Audio/Visual Club, Democracy school team, and more. She aspires to be a K-12 music educator.

  • Not Photographed: Xiang Owens, Lake Park School​​​​​

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