A Dawson County High School senior has been named to the State School Superintendent's Student Advisory Council for the 2011-12 year.
Zach Gerrells, 17, is one of 50 students across the state selected to advise Superintendent John Barge and the Georgia Department of Education about the impact of state policies on classrooms.
Gerrells is the son of Stephen and Kristi Gerrells, educators in the Dawson County school system.
"It's a big honor to be able to represent Dawson County and FFA at the state level," said Gerrells, who is active in the high school's Future Farmers of America program and plans to study agribusiness in college.
The Student Advisory Council will also discuss other education-related issues and serve as the superintendent's ambassadors at their respective schools.
"The Student Advisory Council is an invaluable resource to the leadership of the Georgia Department of Education," Barge said in a statement.
"This group will provide a unique perspective on how state policies are working in the classroom and allow me the opportunity to communicate directly with students in schools throughout Georgia."
Principal Jute Wilson said Gerrells is the ideal candidate to represent the high school.
"When we had to nominate somebody, we were looking for a student that was well rounded, that's going to be a good representation of what we want Dawson County to be," Wilson said.
"Zach's not just a smart kid, he's active in his school, his community and he just kind of portrays the student we want to put up from for Dawson County."
More than 700 students applied to be on the council. Students were chosen based on the strength of their answers to an essay question, as well as their school and community involvement.
Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter said Gerrells is well deserving of the appointment.
"The great thing about his selection is that he will have the opportunity to discuss issues that impact students directly with the superintendent," Porter said. "Student perspectives are of utmost importance, and I am sure that Zach will represent the students of Dawson County and the state very well."
The first meeting of the Student Advisory Council is set for Nov. 1 at the Georgia Department of Education in Atlanta.