• decorative title banner: student advisory committee

  • The Board & Superintendent Student Advisory Panel was created in 2017 to expand opportunities for student voice to be included in major district decisions. Additionally, the group allows students to serve in important leadership roles, while learning powerful lessons about organizational management, operations, governance, civic engagement, and collaborative decision-making.   

    Board & Superintendent Student Advisory Panel Charter

Group Objectives

  • Dialogue: To discuss with each other and members of administration and the Board of Trustees happenings and concerns at campuses and within the district as a whole

    Perspective: To review high profile Board of Trustees agenda items and provide a student viewpoint  

    Action: To engage in projects that benefit fellow classmates, the district, and the community

Group Membership

  • Panel members apply to join the group and are selected by the campuses they represent. Currently, the group consists of two students from each grade at Hays, Johnson and Lehman High Schools. Live Oak Academy selects two students campuswide. 

    For membership information contact:

Student Members

  • 2023-2024 Members  

    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, are:  Abram Garza, Adah Guerra, Adrian McWilliams, Alyssa Jones, Ana Jakubauskas, Ayana Green, Barron Liu, Carlos Lujan, Cassidy Clark, Chase Shuda, Connor Hall, Destiny Bautista, Jackson Juel, Jacob Robison (Jace), Jeremiah Hightower-Santos, Jenee' Perez-Starling, Makynzie Gutierrez, Markis Maldonado, Nayeli Munoz, Paul Garza Jr., Raneen Omar, Ryan Roberts, Ryan Weeks, Taryn Beacom, William Keller, Yunis Al-Saad, Zaniah Hoskins. 

    2022-2023 Members  
    group photo

    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, are:  Abram Garza, Makayla White, Yunis Al-Saad, Jeremiah Hightower-Santos, Cassidy Clark, Ava Bedwell, Krystal Cortez, Dre Giello, Giovanni Lleverino,  Zaniah Hoskins, James (Trace) Jansen, Nayeli Munoz, Jordan Harding, Vivian-An, Nguyen, Jenee' Perez-Starling, Raneen Oma, Markis Maldonado, Ryan Weeks, Alyssa Jones, Halie DeLeon, Ikaika Engleman, Ava Scheibmeir, Alexis Venditelli, Lilyana Ortiz-Pattridge, Scott Alfaro and Lauren Johnson

    2021-2022 Members
    Group Photo of Advisory Members

    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, are: Jeremiah Hightower-Santos, Cassidy Clark, Krystal Cortez, Ava Bedwell, Hunter Halenza, Bridget Pennington, Knyla Kemari, James (Trace) Jansen, Nayeli Munoz, Jordan Harding, Vivian-An, Nguyen, Aiden (Denny) Oneal, Morgan McKalip, Ryan Weeks, Alyssa Jones, Halie DeLeon, Ikaika Engleman, Deema Omar, Yoshi Nakachi, Haylee Rhodes, Kimberly Cruz, Kaunli Hehr

    2020-2021 Members
    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, are: Aiden (Denny) Oneal, Angely Irizarry Chico, Audrey Jones, Ava Bedwell, Brian Pesina, Bridget Pennington, Daniel Bergmann, Daniel Vasquez, Deema Omar, Hunter Halenza, Jordan Harding, Lukas Champion, Morgan McKalip, Ryan Munoz, Samantha Kasson, Vivian-An, Nguyen, and Yoshi Nakachi, Kimberly Cruz, and Cloey Guillen

    2019-2020 Members
    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, in alphabetical order are: Daniel Bergmann, Avery Borrel, Marco Cano, Bodhi Chae, Peyton Faulks, Hunter Halenza, Grace Hammond, Audrey Jones, Morgan McKalip, Madi Murphy, Yoski Nakachi, Deema Omar, Denny O'Neal, Dalton Pennington, Bridget Pennington, and Daniel Vasquez

    2018-2019 Members
    Representing Hays and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, in alphabetical order are: Daniel Bergmann, Marco Cano, Bodhi Chae, Madyson Christian, Peyton Faulks, Audrey Jones, Madi Murphy, Matthew Nino, Beatrice Pennington, Luke Roehrig, Ashley Rosendo, James Vargas, Daniel Vasquez, and Tulsi Vaswani

    2017-2018 Members
    Representing Hays and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, in alphabetical order are: Marco Cano, Bodhi Chae, Madyson Christian, Michael Hellmer, Sierra Merritt, Madi Murphy, Matthew Nino, Beatrice Pennington, Luke Roehrig, Ashley Rosendo, Keely Smith, Josh Torres-Whitmer, James Vargas, and Tulsi Vaswani

Meetings & Notes

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  • September 6, 2023

    Posted by Harvest Goodrich on 9/6/2023


    • Welcome New Student Advisory Members
    • Beginning of the year celebrations & concerns
    • How are you handling the new changes of the school year?
    • Importance of I.D.’s and Safety Drills
    • Volunteer cords and opportunities

    1. Call to Order and Good Things:

    • The meeting began with an upbeat playlist featuring "Just the Hits" from the 80's, setting a positive tone for the meeting.

    2. Welcome by Dr. Wright: Students were welcomed and sent through a buffet line of taco plates and tres leche cakes made by Student Food Services.

    3. Beginning of the Year Celebrations and Concerns:

    • LHS Innovations and Design: Discuss plans to revamp baseball fields with soft turf.
    • The auditorium and CTE Mariachi Hall have been upgraded.
    • JHS Wing: Mention of accommodating 600 students in the orchestra hall.
    • HHS Science Labs and Weight Room renovations.
    • LOA Doubling Capacity: Plans for increasing enrollment to 400 students.
    • Concerns were raised by Jackson Juel regarding difficulties in getting to the Hays Huddle for attendance.
    • Tina Salazar emphasized the need for stronger adult-student connections.

    4. 4-Day Instruction Week:

    • It was noted that the idea was rejected by state legislation and the new calendar committee will finalize the schedule.

    5. Hays Service Stars Program:

    • Keyawyna Glaze introduced the "Hays Service Stars" program, encouraging students to log volunteer hours using their student IDs. This information will be integrated into VIP records, and counselors will have access.
    • Board Trustee Esperanza Orosco suggested students consider volunteering hours to organizations like "Hope to God" and "Clothes Closet."

    6. Funding Update:

    • Dr. Wright explained a funding challenge related to private school vouchers and anticipated special sessions by the State. Delayed funding was expected to be released in October.

    7. Art Class Fees:

    • Students inquired about a $10 fee for art classes, which was explained as typical and reasonable based on previous years.

    8. GPA and Class Ranks:

    • There was a change in the GPA scale last year for core content classes. Marivel Sedillo will provide dates for the release of updated class ranks.

    9. New Changes:

    • Board Secretary Courtney Runkle discussed new policies, including mandatory DAEP/Impact placement for vaping offenses and a stricter absence policy.
    • LOA students clarified that rumors of the school closing due to enrollment numbers were untrue.

    10. Safety and Security:

    • Chief of Safety and Security Jeri Scrocky emphasized campus safety, urging students to wear ID badges, keep doors locked, and report suspicious activity.
    • Ryan Weeks raised concerns about vaping setting off smoke detectors. Scrocky mentioned plans for a vaping detection system.
    • LHS students expressed that removing exterior bathroom doors did not reduce vaping issues.
    • Students suggested using magnets for their ID badges instead of lanyards.
    • Esperanza Orosco emphasized the importance of elementary students becoming accustomed to wearing ID badges early on.

    11. Home School Student Participation:

    • Dr. Wright asked for student opinions on home-schooled students participating in UIL activities, including sports and fine arts.
    • Students felt it was unfair that home-schooled students did not have to pass exams or coursework to qualify, unlike public school students required by UIL.
    • Concerns were raised about the lack of bonding opportunities with teammates for home-schooled students.
    • Suggestions were made for improving team sports for these students.

    The meeting concluded with a sense of collaboration and a commitment to address the discussed issues.

    Comments (-1)
  • April, 6, 2023

    Posted by Harvest Goodrich on 4/6/2023
    1. Call to Order; Good things

    Good things were mentioned by all attendees including the news that Lehman's percussion earned 2nd in the state! Welcomed new students: Liam Keller and Ana Jakubauskas

    1. SchoolLinks

    School board president Vanessa Petrea asked for student feedback on using SchoolLinks to register for classes. Students commented that the program needed to be taught to students and they felt their campus staff was not able to help them and they had to figure it out for themselves. One student noted, “It has the potential to be helpful for applying to colleges but I spent too much time having to learn it on my own.” Abram noted that registering was too buggy and not all the classes were listed. Both Live Oak students and Hays High students noted they were not familiar with the program and had not heard of it as of 4.6.23.

    1. Student IDs and consequences for non-compliance

    Students felt that non-compliance should have a 3 strikes-out policy that would step up/tiered consequences each time. Students noted they forgot their ID’s and maybe magnetic-type fasteners would be cooler than lanyards. Marcos noted that ID’s should be scanned to have bathroom privileges because it would cut down on vaping in the bathroom if the admin could tell who was in the bathroom at any time.

    1. Legislative updates pertaining to public education

    The potential 4-day week was prohibited in a new bill by Senator Campbell. Bill to decriminalize vaping by age restrictions was presented. Students noted that kids would be more likely to vape if they knew there were no legal consequences to vaping.  It was noted that 60% of impact students were in trouble for vaping on campus.

    1. What is a challenge you are facing as another school year comes to an end?

    Students are worried about senioritis and staying focused until the end of the school year. Students report feeling drained from the rigors of academics and extracurriculars by April. Students said that teachers were complaining to students about feeling burnout. Admin and students agreed that teachers should not complain to students about their jobs. Students also said they do not want teachers to be religious or anti-religious but focus on academics. Students said teachers should have more freedom to take lessons so that lessons could be more engaging, like at the beginning of the year. Members noted that their most memorable days of learning included; learning outside instead of in a classroom, having fun projects, and being able to get out of their chairs to collaborate.

    1. Ideas to consider as we plan for the 2023-2024 school year

    Students wanted fewer Google slides and computer-based learning and more teacher-student engagement. More class discussions and fewer one-sided lectures.

    1. Say Farewell to Seniors members. Seniors were asked, “What advice would you give incoming high school students?” and gave the younger class advice on having a great high school experience.
    Comments (-1)
  • March 2, 2023

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 3/2/2023
    1. Call to Order; Good things

    Good things were mentioned by attendees, including the news that Ikaika Engleman broke the school pole vault record with a vault of 12 ft!

    1. Campus Safety

    Alyssa asked for a doorbell in the HHS trainer's room to assess student athletic injuries faster. Students asked that they have access to bathrooms at the same time and location within the campuses. The administration decided that more bathroom monitor sweeps needed to be performed. Graffiti issues in the bathrooms needs to be reported and removed asap on all campuses and a work order was placed for the HHS cafeteria bathroom.

    Fentanyl assemblies were considered by students and administrators. Students felt that large school-wide assemblies were too distracting and that the messaging would be better in a small-scale environment. All agreed that an opt-out should be given to allow students with trauma or personal experience with Fentanyl the option to have additional privacy and support during the messaging campaign. Billboard for Forever 15 was approved and will hang as a banner in secondary campus cafeterias.

    1. 2023 Bond Plan & Feedback

    JHS gyms are too small to accommodate every student organization and a new gym to prioritize fine arts. Students asked where new campuses were likely to be built. Students wanted feedback about what specifics would be added to their campuses for athletics. Students asked about the details of Hays HS & Lehman HS Initial Design Fees for Future Modernization and Expansion

    1. C Day Schedule

    Students were asked their opinion about C-day schedules. Some students noted that Fridays were helpful for athletes who may miss class for games to see all their teachers twice a week and to get assignments. Students not involved in UIL thought Friday C days were too short to accomplish much in class and thought alternating AB days were a better use of time. Student-athletes said that grading guidelines were tough to adhere to when they missed too many days without seeing their teachers (missed because of events.) Students said that teachers assigned too much homework on Fridays and weekends. It was upsetting their family and social life balance.

    The meeting ran short on time with feedback for agenda items 4 and 5 will be moved to the following meeting.

    1. Time allowed for lunch
    2. Bullying Education


    Comments (-1)
  • Jan 12, 2023

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 1/13/2023

    1. Call to Order; Good things

    Good things mentioned included power lifting competition season had started.  Students had enjoyed spending time with their families over the holiday break.

    2. Attendance Numbers/ Absenteeism

    Attendance rose from 92% to 93%.  Dr. Wright spoke to the students about pushing the legislature to base school funding on enrollment instead of daily attendance. 

    3. Schoology was discussed with several students saying that Google classroom was more intuitive and compatible with Google documents than Schoology.

    Students were asked how many used the district supplied technology and computers. Many students said that they used their own computers but wanted the option of district provided lender computers to remain for students that can not afford to have individual computers, especially for students with multiple siblings. 

    4. 4-Day School Week Options Discussed

    Students were asked their opinion about a 4-day school week. Many students noted that they would have to care for younger siblings on their "day off." Others noted that athletes and UIL competitions would still occur on Fridays for many students and were worried they would not have bus service to get to school for athletics.  


    Comments (-1)
  • Dec 1, 2022

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 12/2/2022
    Janelle Rodriguez Dunn discusses how the Fentanyl crisis personally affected her family.

    Students watched the newest video from the Communication dept. on Fentanyl crisis, “The CPR video." Feedback was discussed between administrators and students.

    Students discussed hats, hoodies, and ID badges.

    Ways to improve cleaning up after lunch in campus cafeterias were considered. 

    Website access to a student-led fentanyl crisis media campaign, including peer-to-peer designed stickers, and posters handed out. Fentanyl images were requested to be translated into Spanish after final revisions and added to the website.
    Comments (-1)
  • Nov 3, 2022

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 11/22/2022
    Students discussed the details of the volunteer cord program that was headed to board for approval (10 hours required).
    The panel discussed a 4 day school week. Students felt like 4 day week would be a nice break, but some students noted that the extra day off of school would likely be used as a work day for lower-income students that would then not really receive the "day off."
    Feedback and collaboration on peer-to-peer Fighting Fentanyl campaign images were discussed with final revisions released. Images were ordered as waterproof stickers and digital imagery was added to the Hays Fighting Fentanyl webpage.
    Comments (-1)
  • Oct 6, 2022

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 10/6/2022

    Notes for Student Advisory Board 10.6..22

    1. Call to Order; Good things

    Good things mentioned included a student getting a new baby niece, a student accepted at the engineering school at KU and another student getting to see Red Hot Chili Peppers at ACL festival.

    2. Attendance Numbers

    Bringing up attendance numbers was discussed. Students felt that after being able to do so much learning remotely, that it was hard to go back to the pre-covid model of in-person learning. Students felt that more communication needed to be spread about finals exemptions in terms of unexcused absences. It was brought up that Texas requires daily attendance instead of enrollment for funding purposes. Students also noted that mental health is important and sometimes they felt stressed and just needed a day off for mental health and balance.

    3. Cell Phone Policy

    Students felt like the cell phone policy was helpful in keeping them on task. They didn't want to put their cell phones at the front of the classroom in case of emergency. Many students mentioned that noise levels in the classrooms were very distracting and that white noise and/or calming music from headphones/cell phone use was extremely helpful to them for focus.

    4. Homeroom and advisory times

    Students were asked what they used homeroom time for. Some said they only socialize but many athletes used that time for sports training and time for homework so they wouldn't be stuck with homework late at night after traveling for games. Students wanted to keep the midnight submission in Schoology because it allowed students who work to be able to complete their assignments on their own schedule. 

    5. Work Session for peer-to-peer fentanyl media campaign

    Students worked collaboratively to come up with campaigns to encourage fentanyl awareness and the dangers of drugs. Designs and slogans by the students will be created into stickers and images for social media. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Sept 1. 2022

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 9/1/2022

    Notes for Student Advisory Board 9.1.22

    1. Call to Order, Good things, special advisor to the superintendent on board matters, Letters of recommendation, Selfies at graduation

    Best time for meetings: Feedback: Cassidy- wants to keep standing day so that she can prepare for absence. Ryan-AM was good but lunch is better because of the food.  Trace, Zeniah, Abraham, liked the timing of the meeting. Alyssa thinks maybe adding a different day like Wednesday and Jordan and Vivian agreed with having a Wednesday meeting option.


    Make a written poll for the meetings for the year, Food and Days options

    2. Stricter dress code enforcement

    ID’s released for mid September – no ID’s at Live Oak and Watson will address.

    Issues about wearing Id’s were discussed.

    Shirt length appropriate for dress code an issue at JHS.

    Shoulders showing doesn’t make sense to students and they want more research done for feedback.

    Students would like for lanyards to be provided to identify the campus.


    3. Security

    Locked doors, Students opening doors at LHS- no, unless approved by teachers

    SmartTag ID’s to open doors- work in progress but Bond $ needed

    Building security- if student gets locked out to go to the office to get a pass to enter the building

    Live Oak will have all doors locked at AM bell

    Suggested locked entrances at LHS to have admins posted at all doors

    Salazar said a new security guard will be posted at D- building because the fieldhouse door gets locked and it is inconvenient for student-athletes to walk around the entire building for re-entry.


    4. Fentanyl awareness

    Be aware of lives lost, Savoy and Skrocki present a summary and discuss and show the new video.

    Students appreciate the urgency to educate awareness of dangers

    Kids need to spread on their own social media to their stories to help spread awareness

    Media: IG is the best for sharing to youth, TikTok is best for viral, StuCo could help also, student section pages could help and focus on any drug since they could all be laced.

    In 6 months Hays County found zero real Xanax- all counterfeit.

    Visitors spoke to students and brainstormed a campaign idea- ongoing conversation about drug awareness


    Comments (-1)
  • May 12, 2022

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 5/12/2022
    On May 12, members of our Hays CISD School Board and Superintendent Student Advisory Panel joined Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright, Hays CISD Trustees and district administrators on a tour inside of Sunfield Elementary! Thursday's tour, led by representatives with Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, allowed many to get a first-look at the interior of the new Elementary School, which will open in August 2022. Sunfield Elementary, approved by voters in the May 2021 bond election, is a 117,611 square-foot campus that's located within the Sunfield subdivision in Buda. The new elementary campus in Sunfield can house up to 900 students grades K - 5 and is being built on 16.5 acres of land. During the tour, the Advisory Panel and Trustees saw the work taking place in multiple classrooms, as well as computer labs, library and much more. In addition, our district also recognized the efforts of senior members of the Advisory Panel who will be graduating later this month. Congratulations to our senior Advisory Panel members and thank you for your dedication to Hays CISD!
    Hays CISD Student Advisory Panel seniors 2022
    Hunter Halenza – Hays HS
    Bridget Pennington – Hays HS
    Aiden (Denny) Oneal – Johnson HS
    Morgan McKalip – Johnson HS
    Deema Omar – Lehman HS
    Yoshi Nakachi – Lehman HS
    Kaunli Hehr – Live Oak Academy
    Comments (-1)
  • April 10, 2022

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 4/14/2022

    The Board and Superintendent Student Advisory Panel met and the following items were discussed:

    • Students and faculty began with talking about something good going on in their lives. Students mentioned many great things. Yoshi was excited to tour Stanford. Deema found the perfect prom dress. Alyssa was practicing her speech for the Shriner’s Temple. Knyla was accepted to Brown University. Nayeli was accepted into honor society. Ikaika tied the school record on the pole vault on an 11’6” jump. We are so proud of all the great things happening to our students.
    • Dr. Watson circled back about the 8thperiod option for high schoolers. It was discussed that Friday could be a rotating A/B day and M/W, T/TH could be non-rotating schedules.
    • SAT testing was discussed. Students are now required to take the SAT at school and it is now free for them to test and they are able to send the results to 4 universities for free instead of paying for them. Some students mentioned bells going off during testing that created some interruption during testing and what can be done to improve a calmer atmosphere.
    • The bond was discussed in reference to the growth of the district. Enrollment projections were explained. The students will tour the new elementary school at the following meeting.
    • Students and administrators believed it is important for students to engage in community volunteer experiences. All students agreed that high schoolers should be required to volunteer 10 hours a year and with an additional 16 hours should be able to earn a graduation cord for community service that is not based on membership or grades such as the other clubs that offer community service cords.
    • Students were asked to give their feedback by completing the student engagement survey online that was sent from their campus principals.
    Comments (-1)