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High school principal starts student advisory council

November 16, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The principal at Waynesboro Area Senior High School might soon have an information pipeline into every corner of the student body.

Jon Bilbo, who was hired as principal in 2005, has drafted the blueprints for a Principal's Student Advisory Council and hopes to have a representative mix of 24 students ready to serve on the council by the end of the month.

"My philosophy is that students should be involved in the governance of their school," he said.

The council will be a forum where students can both give input and get information from the administration. Like most clubs at Waynesboro High, the council will meet during advisory period, and will work directly with Bilbo in a meeting setting to share concerns and feedback.

"We need a forum that listens to student concerns, frustrations and recommendations to improve the learning community," he said.

Bilbo is soliciting students for the council. Applications will be available over the next few weeks, he said, and must be submitted by the end of the month. Once all the applications are received, he hopes to finalize a list of members by early December.

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One of Bilbo's goals for the council is to have representatives from every faction of the student body.

"I will try to get a balance of students," he said. "Minorities, non-sports, and non-CO-curricular students should have a voice as well."

The idea of forming an advisory council is nothing new for the principal. Bilbo formed a similar council when he was principal of Eastern York High School near York, Pa., and recently formed a council of students about the cafeteria of Waynesboro High School.

"I think students appreciate having a say in policies," he said.

While the council has yet to form, Bilbo anticipates the first discussion to include an update on the school's $46 million building project.

Bilbo also said he plans to publish the minutes of all Principal's Advisory Council meetings to both students and parents on the school's Web site.

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