By Tia Lynn Ivey
Two Morgan County Middle School (MCMS) students, McCormick Anderson and Sydney Griffith, travelled to the state capital in February to meet Governor Nathan Deal and tour the State House and Senate. The trip was one of the perks afforded to Anderson and Griffith for being selected for a prestigious slot on the State Superintendent’s Advisory Council earlier this year.
“We are proud of McCormick and Sydney for being chosen to serve on the prestigious State Superintendent’s Advisory Council! They are representing the voices of our students in Atlanta and they are being heard!” said Sarah Burbach, assistant superintendent of Morgan County schools.
The State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council is comprised of students in grades 7-12, from schools all across the state.
“They have met with Superintendent Richard Woods twice to discuss how the decisions that are made at the state level affect Georgia’s students,” said Burbach. “Sydney and McCormick act as liaisons between the Georgia Department of Education and the students of Georgia.”
Sydney and McCormick are honored to be participating in the program, grateful for the opportunity to learn more about how school systems function and the role of government.
“It’s been really beneficial seeing how the government works and how decisions get made. It will definitely help me in my future classes on government,” said McCormick. “The experience has been very eye-opening.”
“I think it’s helped me start thinking about my future career and preparing for it now,” said Sydney. “It’s just a really good experience to be able to go the State Capital in Atlanta and help schools all across the state.”
Both McCormick and Sydney emphasized the promotion of the arts in schools as their essay topics when they applied for the council.
“I wrote about the arts being important in school. I showed examples of how we use art at MCMS to influence good behavior,” said Sydney. “I think the arts needs to be a big part of everyone’s education.”
“I hope to bring more significance to the arts because I know that being here, we have a large drama program and music program and what they mean to all of us,” said McCormick. “I want to see the same kind of arts programs in schools statewide and for the arts to get just as much recognition as sports do.”
In another trip a couple of months ago, McCormick and Sydney also got to visit CBS 46 to observe how news reporting is done and help in a literacy effort, providing books for lower-income schools.
“I would really like to see more advocacy projects within schools, and in our school especially,” said Sydney. “I would love for us to do more fundraisers and community projects, like helping with cleaning houses and yards—things that would be beneficial to the community.”
McCormick and Sydney have one meeting left on the council this year, which will feature an award ceremony honoring students who stood out during their time serving on the council. McCormick and Sydney are looking forward to the event and to carrying with them the lessons they have learned throughout this valuable experience.
“I hope everyone applies. It’s been a great experience,” said McCormick.