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Flowery Branch student to advise state on education
Walls 1 of 50 chosen for Student Advisory Council
1028studentAllison Walls
Allison Walls, a student at Flowery Branch High School, has been named to the state’s 2012-2013 Student Advisory Council, which advises Superintendent John Barge on how state policies affect the classroom.

“Education provides the foundation for the next generation,” Allison Walls said.

“I know that may sound cliché but it’s true. What you learn now and what you’re applying now will stay with you for the rest of your life, so I think it’s important to build that strong foundation.”

Walls, a 10th-grade student at Flowery Branch High School: A Global Studies and Leadership Academy, was selected to serve on State School Superintendent John Barge’s 2012-2013 Student Advisory Council, a position that will allow her to help improve the state’s education system.

She is one of 50 Georgia students chosen for the council. The students will meet twice throughout the school year to provide Barge with a student perspective on education-related issues.

“The Student Advisory Council allows me to hear directly from students in our schools and discuss major initiatives with them,” Barge said in a news release.

“The council also gives students the opportunity to share with me their ideas and concerns, which we use to shape future state policies.”

Walls said she’s honored to have been chosen and hopes she’ll be able to make a positive difference in the education system as a whole.

“I know the superintendents aren’t always able to see what goes on day to day,” she said. “So we’ll be bringing up things that they might not be aware of, not just with my school or even my community but the whole state of Georgia.”

Walls is the second student selected for the council from Flowery Branch in as many years. Last year’s student representative was Bekki Benton, a senior.

“It’s awesome to have our school represented two years in a row, and we see kids have such an interest in education and are really putting themselves out there to make a difference and try to have an influence on shaping education,” school counselor Kristi Carlson said.

More than 750 students from 121 districts applied to the council. and were selected based on the strength of their essay answers.

Barge said it was difficult to choose the members from so many great applications.

Walls intends to go to medical school and become a doctor; she wrote her essay on how difficult it is to balance advanced courses and career courses, both of which she said are necessary for acceptance into good colleges.

She said she’ll bring the topic up at the first council meeting Nov. 28 at the state Department of Education office in Atlanta.

She said being able to bounce ideas off of other students will help to come up with solutions to problems like the one she outlined in her essay.

She said she’ll also be sure and speak with her classmates before and after the meeting to make sure their problems are addressed.

“I’m in class every day, so I see what goes on every day, just little things that I think everyone would know about ... but some people just have no clue about,” Walls said.

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