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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

122217 docCHARLOTTE — Members of the 2017-’18 Student Advisory Board for the Diocese of Charlotte Schools met for the first time this school year Dec. 13 with Dr. Janice Ritter, superintendent; Debbie Mixer, assistant superintendent; and other school administrators.

Established by Ritter when she became superintendent in 2012, the board is comprised of students from the diocese’s three high schools: Bishop McGuinness in Kernersville, Charlotte Catholic, and Christ the King in Huntersville. Its aim is to connect diocesan schools leadership directly with students, particularly on school programs and issues important to young people.

“Meeting with our young people provides me with insights and a perspective that I would not gain otherwise,” Ritter said. “I find these students to be thoughtful, reflective and articulate. I value the time I spend with this group and I am grateful for their willingness to give their time to serve in this capacity.”

Members are: Matt Kelly, Isaac Kohl, Lexi Marty, Carter Shannon and Mary Walsh of Bishop McGuinness High School; Patrick Collins, Juliana Hancock, John Kelly, Mae Levin, Samantha Pean, Astrid Salinas, Kristopher Welch and Ramsey White of Charlotte Catholic High School; and Kaitlyn Kogler, Luke Langbo, AJ McMahon and James Metz of Christ the King High School.

Although board members are high school students, they are asked to consider issues from the perspective of all students. Serving on the board also provides them with the opportunity to talk with their peers in other schools. Board members may serve for up to two years.

At their Dec. 13 meeting, students were asked to reflect on the value of their Catholic education and articulate those points in a format that can be shared in the future.

Joining the meeting were Kurt Telford, principal at Charlotte Catholic; Dr. Carl Semmler, principal at Christ the King; and Leslie Redmon, media center director, of Bishop McGuinness.

In addition to engaging in discussions, the board is also charged with certain tasks. Over the years board members have developed a brochure for beginning teachers expressing the qualities of effective teachers, created a video tribute to teachers that was shared with teachers at a diocesan-wide professional development day, and met with visiting members of the accreditation team with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI), a division of AdvancEd.

During this coming year the board has three projects it hopes to complete: create a document that articulates the qualities students appreciate in their teachers; develop a video, inclusive of all 19 schools, which clearly shows how we live our mission in Catholic schools; spearhead a joint service project for all schools in the diocese.
— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor