According to a press release from the Georgia Department of Education, "As members of the council, these students will meet twice throughout the school year to advise the Superintendent and the Georgia Department of Education on how state policies are impacting the classroom. The Student Advisory Council will also discuss other education-related issues and will serve as the State Superintendent's ambassadors in their respective schools."
More than 700 students applied to be a member of the council by filling out an application and answering an essay question. Students were chosen based on the strength of their essay answers, as well as their school and community involvement.
"I wrote a paper on getting the school systems all on one 180-day time track and how it would be beneficial to both students and teachers and the economic plan for Georgia [schools]," Hopper said.
Hopper was notified of the honor by his mother, an elementary school teacher.
"I didn't know what to say ... I was a little intimidated," he laughed.
However, this isn't Hopper's first time executing leadership and aiding the community.
"Last year some friends and I did a fundraiser for [the Etowah Valley Humane Society] and what we did was we organized a 5K run called 'Cause for Paws,'" he said, adding he leads worship music and stays involved at his church where his father also is a pastor -- Cedar Lake Christian Center.
"The Student Advisory Council is an invaluable resource to the leadership of the Georgia Department of Education," Barge said in the press release. "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 Jay Floyd echoed these statements, adding the experience allows information to be brought to the local school system.
"We're excited about Christian being on the advisory [board], I believe we've had a student on the advisory [board] for the last four years for the state superintendent," he said. "It gives us a lot of good feedback and he'll also be able to take a lot of good information to the [Georgia Department of Education]."
The first meeting of the Student Advisory Council will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Georgia Department of Education office in Atlanta.
"We had a large number of qualified applicants this year, which made the task of choosing the members of the Student Advisory Council very difficult," Barge said. "I think we have a great group of students, and I'm looking forward to our first meeting."