Danville student selected to KDE Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Local student Abigail Sears, an 11th grader at Danville High School, was selected along with 10 other Kentucky public high school students to be part of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)’s Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council.

Established to allow student feedback on critical issues impacting students and schools, the council connects students with KDE staff to develop ideas to strengthen student voice and transform education.

The group meets regularly with the commissioner, both in person and virtually, to discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Kentucky.

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“Members of the student advisory council offer valuable insights to us at the Kentucky Department of Education, especially as we continue to reimagine and improve the overall experiences of our students through the work of the United We Learn vision,” said Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney. “We look forward to hearing from and working with these exceptional student leaders in the year ahead.”

The new members, listed with their current grades and high school, include:

  • Lisa Abrampah, 11th grade, Craft Academy/Frederick Douglass High School (Fayette County)
  • Mary Beth Bolen, 11th grade, Paul G. Blazer High School (Ashland Independent)
  • Graham Borden, 10th grade, Highlands High School (Fort Thomas Independent)
  • Ani Dundee Taliah Cockerham-O’Donnell, 9th grade, Kentucky School for the Deaf
  • Isabella Edghill, 11th grade, duPont Manual High School (Jefferson County)
  • Aniji N. Fox, 11th grade, Mayfield High School (Mayfield Independent)
  • Samarah Higgins, 11th grade, John Hardin High School (Hardin County)
  • Allan M. Kalambayi, 11th grade, Owensboro High School (Owensboro Independent)
  • Luisa Sanchez-Almenarez, 10th grade, Boyle County High School
  • Abigail Sears, 11th grade, Danville High School (Danville Independent)
  • Khoa Anh Ta, 10th grade, Owensboro High School (Owensboro Independent)

The new members join 11 returning members:

  • Manas Garla, 10th grade, Western Hills High School (Franklin County)
  • Honette Irakiza, 11th grade, South Warren High School (Warren County)
  • Peter Jefferson, 11th grade, Henry Clay High School (Fayette County)
  • Sophia Langford, 10th grade, J. Graham Brown School (Jefferson County)
  • Gabriella MacAdams, 10th grade, Williamstown Senior High School (Williamstown Independent)
  • Tanvi Rakesh, 11th grade, Randall K. Cooper High School (Boone County)
  • Daniel Ratley, 10th grade, Grayson County High School
  • Sophia Staples, 11th grade, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Fayette County)
  • Austin Eric Vitato, 10th grade, J. Graham Brown High School (Jefferson County)
  • Carley Watts, 10th grade, Hazard High School (Hazard Independent)
  • India Young, 11th grade, Craft Academy/Marion County High School

Council membership consists of three positions from each of the Kentucky Supreme Court districts; representation from the Kentucky School for the Blind and the Kentucky School for the Deaf; and student members enrolled in career and technical education pathways. Additional information about the council is available on the Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council website.

Council members will serve for the 2024-2025 school year. The first meeting will take place Aug. 27.