Seniors selected for advisory council

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Two Neshoba Central High School students were named to the state Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, the Mississippi Department of Education announced.

To have two students serve on the council simultaneously is a first for the school district. 

Mary Kate Moran and Sofia Euyoque will serve two-year terms on the council, which includes students in grades 11 and 12 or first-year college members.

Both are seniors at Neshoba Central and members of Dr. Lundy Brantley’s Student Advisory Board.

The two applied for the state council through online applications.

Brantley, Neshoba County’s superintendent of education, was proud of both seniors.

“These two young ladies are so well deserving of this honor,” he said. “Both are on my student advisory and give valuable insight on how to improve our school.”

The students and other members of the state superintendent’s advisory council will act as liaisons between MDE and public-school students from across the state.

Their first meeting is this week through a Zoom session.

More than 300 students from across the state applied for the state superintendent’s council and 163 were selected. They will join the more than 70 students who were selected in 2019.

These students from different backgrounds, school size and regions in Mississippi will be able to share their opinions and offer advice about educational opportunities and policy in Mississippi with Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

“You can actually submit problems you see in the school to the advisory council and share ideas you think could improve Mississippi school districts,” Moran said.

Euyoque said the state council uses the same process as Dr. Brantley’s advisory board.

“They are just looking for your opinion on ways to improve schools,” she said.

Euyoque is also on Dr. Brantley’s Strategic Planning Committee along with others including parents from the community.

 “We talk about how we can improve our school and we talk about the goals we want to reach,” she said.

Moran hopes the state council will look at ways to improve virtual learning and address problems associated with a lack of high speed Internet access in homes across the state.

“Today, we obviously are having virtual learning with hybrid schedules,” Moran said. “I think we have realized how many students don’t have access to technology.  It’s not that they don’t have computers, some of their homes don’t have access to Internet because they live so far out in the county.  I think we need to look at how we are distributing Internet in Mississippi.”

Euyoque agreed.

“Personally for now, I do want to see more options for students to get technology to do their online work,” she said. “Every school in Mississippi, elementary through high school, is dealing with the pandemic and learning and doing assignments. As for physical school, diversity is also a big thing. We need representation of every culture and every background.” 

Both students agreed that the hybrid schedule does have its good points in preparing them for college life.

“Hybrid is better than completely virtual,” Moran said. 

“Actually, I like it. It is kinda similar to how it will be in college next year. It’s not ideal. We’d rather be here I’m sure.”

Moran said the hybrid schedule teaches students how to manage their time.

“In a lot of my classes, you have assignments due at the end of the week.  They just have to be done by Friday. I think students realize that if you wait until Friday, it’s going to be harder so they are learning how it should be done.”

Euyoque agreed that the hybrid schedule has been a lesson in time management.

 “I am in favor of it because it prepares us for college in an unfortunate way,” she said. 

Both students feel it is very important for all students across the state to have access to the high speed Internet service.

“I’m so excited to see what we are going to talk about on the council and how they are going to put our information to use,” Euyoque said.

Moran is the daughter of Emily and Brett Moran.

At Neshoba Central, she is a member of FBLA, Beta, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, Dance Team and National Honor Society.

 Neshoba County’s current Distinguished Young Woman, Moran plans to attend Mississippi State University and study biological sciences and then go to medical school.

She works part time at Ms. Tina’s Studio.

Euyoque is the daughter of Patricia and Jose Euyoque.

At Neshoba, she is a member of Beta, Mu Alpha Theta, Bible Club and FBLA. She is the drum major in the Big Blue Band where she plays clarinet.  She is Student Body president and senior class president.

Euyoque will enroll in a university after graduation where she plans to major either in music performance or music education. 

“I want to be a band director and a teacher,” she said.

 Both Euyoque and Moran are members of Holy Cross Catholic Church.

 “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with such smart, insightful students last year, and I’m looking forward to hearing from our new members on issues of importance to them,” Wright said. “The public-school students of our state are our clients, and we need to ensure that we provide them with the opportunities they need to be successful. The council also allows students, who wouldn’t normally have the chance to interact, to talk with peers in different areas of our state.”


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