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Newly Elected National Student Council Gives Students Voice in Federal Policy

As the nation wrestles with critical issues from the future of education to democracy itself, student voices have been left out of the conversation—until now. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) held its first election for the newly created National Student Council. The ten students elected to the Council will advocate on behalf of millions of their peers on federal policies that directly shape their educational experiences. NASSP’s National Association of Student Councils (NASC) will administer the Council.

"I am ecstatic to have the privilege to represent the hearts of student leaders nationwide; it’s an honor that I will not take lightly," said Anjali Verma, president of the National Student Council and a high school junior in West Chester, PA. "Together, we will work to break barriers, create unity, amplify youth voice, advocate for legislative action, improve leadership development opportunities, focus on student wellness, make resources accessible and strengthen school communities."

The election comes at a time when politicians rarely engage students. A 2024 Common Sense Media survey found that nearly two-thirds of 12- to 17-year-olds said elected officials did not reflect the needs and experiences of young people. A 2022 NASSP survey found that only 11% of students report their opinion is represented “a great deal” at the federal level.

"We are thrilled to welcome these exceptional student leaders to the National Student Council," said Ronn Nozoe, CEO of NASSP. "Too often, the voices of those most impacted by education policies—the students themselves—are overlooked in the decision-making process. By collaborating directly with these student representatives, and with our network of principals and educators across NASSP, we can ensure that student insights drive meaningful reforms that truly address their needs and priorities."

The 2024–25 National Student Council Officers are:

• President Anjali Verma, a junior at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School in West Chester, PA

• Vice President of Leadership Development Kaylyn Woods, a sophomore at William M. Davies Career & Technical High School in Lincoln, RI

• Vice President of Service Jacqueline Rogers, a junior at Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, MO

• Vice President of Membership Paige Goble, a sophomore at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, VA

• Vice President of Communications Jamyson Posey, a sophomore at Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, WV

• Secretary Khadija Sissoko, a junior at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, VA

• Junior Vice President of Leadership Development Jocelyn Ridenour, a seventh grader at Margaret Buerkle Middle School in St. Louis, MO

• Junior Vice President of Service Evan Rawls, a seventh grader at John P. Freeman Optional School in Memphis, TN

• Junior Vice President of Membership Isabella Schmit, a seventh grader at Tuloso-Midway Middle School in Corpus Christi, TX

• Junior Vice President of Communications Jaycee Lang, a sixth grader at Mexia Junior High in Mexia, TX

Council leaders' campaign videos are here and descriptions of their positions are here. Their terms start in the fall, after which they will identify the most pressing challenges facing students and then advocate for solutions.

In addition to forming the National Student Council, NASSP is supporting student leaders by awarding $100,000 in new scholarships to NASC members each year. For more information, visit NASC’s website.

 

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