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Superintendent Student Ambassadors Lead The Way in Finding Solutions to District Challenges

group of students

May 20, 2024 — Anyone looking for solutions to the issues plaguing local school districts may want to turn to the Columbus City Schools Superintendent Student Ambassadors. They recently participated in the Ohio State University Leadership Research Collaborative to secure a better future for students across the District.

“This is the kind of work we should be doing every day, in every classroom, every year,” John Kellogg, superintendent-in-residence of Educational Service Center of Central Ohio. “Now it’s time to encourage students to be disruptive in a good way.”

CCS Superintendent Student Ambassadors serve as liaisons between their high schools and the community. Selected superintendent student ambassadors positively represent the District by sharing their positive stories and experiences.

“It has been really great to see the students being invested and using their voice to activate change,” said Mia Prewitt, supervisor of student leadership and engagement who also serves as the superintendent student ambassador advisor.

The OSU Student Research Leadership Collaborative gathers high school students from multiple school districts throughout Ohio to promote leadership, advocacy, and research. 

Each group identified an issue for CCS, conducted interviews and surveys, interpreted the collected data, and presented recommendations to school administrators at the May event. 

One group answered the question “Are Columbus City School students ready for life after high school?” Recommendations offered included college visits, cooking classes and driving school vouchers to better prepare their peers for the real world. 

The collaboration allowed the student ambassadors to expand their networks and perspectives beyond their schools and school districts. Seven groups of students represented CCS, with each group representing a different school.

“It has been really eye-opening,” said Northland High School Senior Patience Ogundare. “It’s surreal to know that a school two to three hours away has the same problems.”

Benjamin Ziwa-Musoke, a junior at Columbus Alternative High School, particularly enjoyed the research process as his team investigated how school funding contributes to students’ success in the classroom.

“Getting the data was easy,” Ziwa-Musoke said. “Interpreting what you find is the rewarding part because it has real-world implications.”

The CCS teams and the topics they presented included:

Team 1Are CCS high school students ready for life after high school?

  • Abigail Bempah (Northland High School)*
  • Phanah Cain (Columbus Africentric Early College)
  • Carla Garcia (Beechcroft High School)
  • Sophia Hernandez (East High School)
  • Joelle Kitt (Independence High School)

Team 3 – Are there career-based classes in school that help you feel prepared for life after high school?

  • Aaliyah Crooms (West High School HS)
  • Hajaratu Kamara (Fort Hayes Arts & Academic High School)
  • Daniel Parks (Independence High School)

 Team 5 – How does school funding contribute to students’ success in the classroom?

  • Dionna Hargrove (Columbus Africentric Early College)
  • Patience Ogundare (Northland High School)
  • Benjamin Ziwa-Musoke (Columbus Alternative High School)

Team 6 – How can schools enhance career exploration for students by providing guidance and resources that prepare them for life after high school?

  • Snit Araia (Mifflin High School)

 Team 7 – How do factors such as peer influence, stress, and access to tobacco products contribute to smoking among teens, particularly within the school environment?

  • Keiadrianna Davie (Columbus Africentric Early College)
  • Evonne Larbi (Fort Hayes Arts & Academic High School)

Team 8 – Why do people on the autism spectrum receive different treatment approaches compared to those without?

  • O'laun Bonds (Mifflin High School)
  • Apshana Biswa (Columbus Alternative High School)
  • Makayla Kitt (Independence High School)
  • Melchi Yankson Njarko (Columbus Alternative High School)

Team 9 – How do student-teacher and student relations in the classroom setting affect the learning environment?

  • Hoseana Araia (Columbus Downtown High School)
  • Madelyn Dumashie (Northland High School)
  • Fatima Moussaid (Centennial High School)
  • Karma Wangchuck (Columbus Downtown High School)

Columbus City Schools recognizes the CCS Superintendent Student Ambassadors for showcasing their leadership and investment in the District while demonstrating their problem-solving skills to school district officials. The future leaders’ research highlighted innovative solutions for current education practitioners.

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology