Thirty-four students from across Eastern Kentucky were inducted on August 20 into the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative (ARI) 2015-2016 Student Senate.
The ARI Student Senate is part of the Race to the Top Grant received by Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) and is comprised of students from seventeen school districts in the region. Each district selected one junior and one senior to send to the Senate. Over the coming year, Student Senate members will work toward a more participatory role for students, as full partners in their education, through avenues of competitive community problem solving, economic development, and Kentucky Youth Assembly.
ARI Student Agency Lead, Kelli Thompson of KVEC, formally swore the students into office in the Pike County courtroom of Circuit Judge Larry Thompson. Before taking oath, KVEC Director Jeff Hawkins shared some of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative vision and asked several students to provide their own personal definitions of leadership.
Senior Lindsey Ambrose and Junior Stacie Fugate are the two student senators from Hazard High School. Jocelyn White, HHS librarian is the Student Senate Majority Leader.
The Student Senate will also assist in the coordination of the Promising Practices Summit on October 28 at the East Kentucky Exposition Center. The summit is an opportunity for the public to experience authentic and real world innovation taking place in our classrooms, both regionally and nationally. To build their skills and confidence with growing technologies, Senate members will meet virtually through a LYNC program installed on iPads awarded to each student and communicate between meetings through the Holler.org, a social learning network designed for users in Central Appalachia.