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‘What is the purpose of school?’ — Hope Starts Here explores student voice efforts in New Hanover County

Incorporating student voices in the classroom is a topic of growing interest in education and beyond. In recent years, research has shown the positive effects of student voice initiatives. But what does encouraging student voices look like in practice? How do teachers make it work? And what doesn’t work? 

We sat down with one teacher and two students in New Hanover County to find out. 

Episode 1: “We know that it starts here” | A conversation with educator Kayce Smith on student voice

Kayce Smith and her students celebrating the end of the 2018-19 school year at South Brunswick High. Photo courtesy of Kayce Smith

Kayce Smith is the MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) coordinator at Myrtle Grove Middle School. The MTSS coordinator is essentially an academic and behavior success coach. Smith is also a doctoral student in educational leadership at UNC-Wilmington. She shares about her experience cultivating and elevating student voices and how this work takes on a new meaning during such an unprecedented time in history.

Episode 2: “Go for it” | One rising 9th grader shares her experience with student voice

Photo courtesy of Rose Castro

Rose Castro is a rising 9th grader, who recently graduated from Myrtle Grove Middle School and has been involved with many student voice efforts in her school including the principal’s cabinet. We discussed how her teachers inspired her to use her voice, and what is keeping her hopeful right now. She will start at Wilmington Early College High School in the fall. And, we virtually hear from her dog Eros, who you might hear pop up in this interview.

Episode 3: “A fresh start” | How one student discovered her voice in elementary school

Photo courtesy of Emmie Rose.

Emmie Rose is also a rising 9th grader, and spent her middle school years at Myrtle Grove Middle School involved in the principal’s cabinet and student improvement team. Her journey with student voice started during student council in elementary school. This is our last episode in this mini series on student voice in New Hanover county. Thank you for listening!

Hope Starts Here

Welcome to Hope Starts Here – a weekly podcast produced by EdNC.org. I’m Alli Lindenberg, EdNC’s engagement specialist. I’ll be hosting and producing this podcast — and can’t wait to share moments of hope with you. I started this show as a response to the overwhelming stress news can cause during times of crisis. We need to stay informed, but we also need to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally. I’m hoping this show will do just that.