By Spandana Cheruvu and Evania Ernest
The Superintendent’s Inter-High Advisory Council, or SIHAC, is a group of students from each of the high schools in the district who discuss prevalent issues and concerns that arise in the community. One of the main points of SIHAC is communicating with the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Darren J. Brown-Hall. At the latest meeting this past Thursday, we brought some questions to him about what SIHAC is and what it serves to do.
Is SIHAC a new establishment in the district?
Dr. Brown-Hall: “SIHAC was actually established before I became superintendent for this district! It’s been around for many years.” Dr. Brown-Hall called over a board member, who confirmed that SIHAC was formed about 17 years ago.
What is SIHAC about?
Dr. Brown-Hall: “SIHAC is a vehicle for students to have contact with the superintendent, in order to let us know what’s going on in the district and what should be advanced. It involves working together with the district to bring about changes to each of the schools.”
How are changes enacted?
Dr. Brown-Hall: “The issues are brought to the Board of Education, as well as the principals of each school, in order to enact change as quickly as possible. Some changes happen very quickly, while others take longer to put into place.”
How does the Board of Education contribute to the process?
Dr Brown-Hall: “Board members talk so that ideas can be relayed to the Board of Education. They elaborate on topics brought to SIHAC, working to figure out what can be done, and also think of new ideas for improvements in each of the schools.”
Also present at the SIHAC meeting was Maureen Poulin, a Board of Education member. She acts as a liaison for SIHAC; her job is communicating ideas between the Inter-High council and the Board of Education. She said that she thoroughly enjoys listening to the opinions and ideas of our district’s high schoolers as they openly discuss issues.
One of the topics discussed at the latest meeting was the accessibility and quality of feminine hygiene products. Two students from Williamsville South and one of our very own East students, Colleen Meosky, led the discussion on how this affects our students and how there needs to be more provision of feminine hygiene products of quality. One of the solutions provided was an accessible pantry for hygiene products. The pantry would allow for students who couldn’t get products at home (for financial reasons or otherwise) to take what they need. Meosky, an active member of Girl Up, prior to the meeting, discussed with Mr. Swatland about supplying the East bathrooms with these products. Mr. Swatland was quick to take action and the dispensers were filled the day after.
Another commonly brought-up topic was district unity. The Inter-High Council is currently thinking of ideas for district-wide events available to all students. These events could be informational, educational, or simply fun spirit weeks. SIHAC will meet again next month and continue to think of ways to improve the high school experience for all of Williamsville’s students.