PRSD student chosen for Minister's Student Advisory Council

PRSD student chosen for Minister's Student Advisory Council

Allyson Shewchuk, grade 11 student at Peace River High School (PRHS) is busy “speaking out” in her new role on Alberta Education’s Minister’s Student Advisory Council. Allyson applied and was chosen to join the provincial council earlier this school year. The council reports to the Minister of Education and is a branch of Speak Out, the Alberta Student Engagement initiative, which is a government initiative created to gather the student voice on education in the province.

Allyson is one of 25 Alberta students on the council geared to involve students in helping to make improvements to education systems on a local and provincial level. Allyson says the council and the “Speak Out” initiative is a great way to bring the student perspective on education.

“For the longest time, adults have made the decisions about education” says Allyson. “Speak Out is turning things around to bring in the student voice.”

Allyson’s role on the Minister’s Student Advisory Council includes monthly blog posts to the Speak Out website and attendance at council meetings three times a year. Allyson also hosted a student forum at PRHS that gathered the voice of local students and looks forward to co-presenting a session on Diploma Exams at the upcoming Speak Out conference.

In addition to her role in the Minister’s Student Advisory Council, Allyson is a member of the Peace River Rotary Interact Club, the PRHS League of Leadership Group, Girl Guides, Peace Players and is involved in a local youth group.

“We are very proud of Allyson” says PRHS principal Mark Owens. “Her leadership is valued at the school, in the community and on a provincial level. She is an exceptional student who clearly demonstrates a passion for making a difference. To be chosen for the Minister’s Council is a great accomplishment and we are thrilled that Allyson is helping to represent the needs of students in the north.”

As explained by Alberta Education’s Student Engagement Coordinator Julie Carter, being chosen to represent the council is a very selective process. Following the review of applications, applications are shortlisted to 50 students by a selection committee, telephone interviews are performed and the Minister of Education provides the final approval of the recommendations of the selection committee.
“It is imperative that Alberta students have a say in the transformation of our education system” says Education Minister Jeff Johnson. “The Minister’s Student Advisory Council, and the entire Speak Out initiative gathers the voice of students, provides front row and meaningful involvement while helping to empower our leaders of tomorrow.”

Allyson and 14 PRHS students are set to attend the Speak Out Conference in Edmonton from April 11 – 13, 2014. To learn more about the Speak Out initiative, Allyson’s blog posts and view results from the PRHS Speak Out focus group she conducted, please visit Speak Out online.