Harlandale student leaders share ideas with interim superintendent

A group of 40 young student leaders representing the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) had the opportunity to meet with Harlandale ISD Interim Superintendent Samantha Gallegos Tuesday morning at McCollum High School to discuss school safety and changes they would like to see at their campuses.  

This is the second time the group of students in grades 6-12 come together to meet with Gallegos. They were originally selected to join the committee in the beginning of the school year for displaying outstanding academic performance and strong leadership qualities in the classroom.

Harlandale ISD Chief of Police Michael Ramirez and Police Sergeant Russell Valdez kicked off the meeting by sharing useful tips to raise awareness regarding the dangers of human trafficking and social media. They encouraged students to be aware of their surroundings and to be mindful of what they share on their social media accounts. Students were also reminded to always call the Harlandale ISD safety hotline (210) 989-SAFE to report anything suspicious.

“We value the safety and security of all our students in our district and across the community,” Ramirez said. “We make it a priority to come in every day to make sure that happens.”

Following the presentation, Gallegos divided the students into different groups and asked them to share what school they represented and what they liked to collect in their spare time. Afterwards, they were able to participate in an interactive group activity, where they wrote down something they would like the interim superintendent to change at their campus. Students presented their ideas directly to Gallegos, which included changes in their dress codes, lunch menus and classrooms.

“You are the voice of your student body and your insight is very valuable to all of us,” Gallegos told them. “Listening directly to you in this type of setting is a great way to finding solutions.”

Gallegos said she plans to show their ideas to campus principals and district cabinet members to review and consider in the future.

Kingsborough Middle School student Madison Espinoza enjoyed the meeting and feels proud to represent her school.

“I think it was really fun to participate with other kids from different schools,” she said. “We were able to share ideas and learn more about each school.”  

SAC will meet two more times during the school year. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 11.

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