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Bloomington senior selected as student adviser for Illinois Board of Ed

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SPRINGFIELD — A Bloomington High School student has been selected to serve as a student adviser to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Avery Heinonen, a senior, is among the 13 new members joining the returning eight members of the 2021-22 Student Advisory Council, ISBE announced Wednesday.

The council serves as advisers to the state board to give voice to the students and help ISBE develop and implement important policy decisions, according to a statement from State Superintendent Carmen Ayala.

Carmen Ayala, State School Superintendent, hedshot


“This year's Student Advisory Council is a diverse group of young adults who are ready to hit the ground running to help us address the academic and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ayala said. “We look forward to working with the SAC members to provide all students with an enriching and safe in-person learning experience.”

Watch now: Normal effort gives students voice in government. Here's how.

Council members will research topics affecting student success in Illinois and present to the state board. Their focus will be developing a response to the achievement gap that has widened during the COVID-19 pandemic; creating a diversity, equity and inclusion framework; ensuring the safety and emotional well-being of students; and rethinking and strengthening teacher recruitment.

Student advisers can use the Student Voices site at to ask and answer questions and access resources for college and career preparation.

Aug.30 -- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Vice Dean Joshua Sharfstein discusses Covid-19 in children, how schools deal with virus outbreaks, and vaccine production with the use of booster shots in the U.S. The Bloomberg School of Public Health is supported by Michael R. Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.


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