Jena Lane, a senior at BHS, was one of 50 Georgia high schoolers selected for the state Superintendent Dr. John Barge's Student Advisory Council.
BHS Principal Travis Thomas urged Lane to apply for the role because of her exhibited leadership skills. As a senior, Lane is an officer on the student council, in the National Honor Society and on the yearbook staff.
"She's one of the best and brightest in a school that's full of outstanding students," Thomas said. "She's been active in things like this before — as a leader within our school — and all of those things fall in line with her role on the council."
Lane said she is excited about the new position, and looks forward to her first meeting at the state Department of Education offices in Atlanta on Nov. 28.
As members of the council, students will meet twice during the school year to advise Barge on how state policies are having an impact in the classroom. The Student Advisory Council will also discuss other education-related issues and will serve as the superintendent's ambassadors in their respective schools
"The Student Advisory Council allows me to hear directly from students in our schools and discuss major initiatives with them," Barge said in a press release. "The council also gives students the opportunity to share with me their ideas and concerns, which we can use to shape future state policies."
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.
Lane said she understands what Barge's goal is in putting the council together.
"He wants to get a student's perspective and to hear some feedback from actual students in the classrooms," Lane said. "And I'm hoping to bring back a lot of information to the school and my classmates."
Thomas also appreciates what Lane could potentially bring back from her meetings in Atlanta.
"It's meant to be used as a two-way communication piece, from us to the state and from the state to us," the principal said. "So I appreciate the state using students to cascade information down to their fellow students and their schools at large."
While she is mostly happy with her school, one thing Lane is interested in seeing changed is the tutoring opportunities afforded students.
"We try to do the best we can," Lane said. "I know we have some math tutoring, and I've tutored some kids in Spanish. But I think more in-class time should be given over to reviewing things that some students aren't quite getting. And if a student is really having trouble with something, I think they should have more opportunities to get the help they need."
Lane is in the dual enrollment program at the University of West Georgia. She has applied and been accepted to Shorter University in Rome, where she plans to attend. She hopes to double major in Spanish and English, with a minor in education.