Atlanta/ Politics & Govt
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Published on June 21, 2024
Georgia's Suwanee Youth Leaders Impress at National School Redesign Showcase in Washington, DCSource: City of Suwanee

A cohort of Georgia's best and brightest high school students, the Suwanee Youth Leaders, just took their game to the national stage in a policy and education showcase held in Washington, DC. Last month, on May 9, a group of twelve students from various Gwinnett County Public Schools presented at the inaugural National School Redesign Showcase. The event, hosted at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center, was an opportunity for these teenagers to shed light on how they envisioned the transformation of the high school experience, as reported by the City of Suwanee.

In what amounts to a serious nod to their efforts, all three teams received invitations to display their findings on the big league—an impressive feat considering their academic level. These students weren't just making models or dioramas; they were conducting research, shadowing professionals, administering surveys, and attending team meetings. Pulling strings of data and insight, these adolescents crafted proposals that seem to have caught some eyes. Special thanks were given to Representative Rich McCormick who took out the time to review their presentations.

Their pioneering work ranges from North Gwinnett to Peachtree Ridge, not missing out Collins Hill, Gwinnett Online Campus, and GSMST. Names like Joy Choi, Elizabeth Tsiporkin, and Kei Holmes might just be pops of text now, but these could very well be the architects of tomorrow's educational framework. Suwanee's own stars like Ella Hui, Blen Areda, and Eden Goode joined them in painting a bold stroke for change.

Notably recognized were also those who’ve been instrumental in guiding these youths—Rebecca Carlisle, Ed.S., from Gwinnett County Public Schools; North Gwinnett High School’s principal, Nathan Ballantine; Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette; and John Green, a leadership consultant and educator. They've been steering the ship, so to speak, preparing the leaders we are starting to see emerge.

Meanwhile, we watch on as the seeds planted in Suwanee start to take root on a much broader national soil, sprouting possibilities for a schooling system that matches the pace of our ever-evolving society.