LEESBURG, Fla. — A new pilot program is changing the way the Lake County School Board focuses on student issues, and it has been so successful that officials are planning to carry it over to next year.

What You Need To Know

  • Lake County School District implements a Superintendent Student Advisory Committee

  • The first issue students decided to tackle was updating the dress code policy

  • Since the program was so successful, it will continue next year with a new group of students

Not every high school student has their own office, but 17-year-old Leesburg High School senior Dencov Bryant isn’t like other high schoolers. In addition to classes, he has a several after school activities, including serving as student body president and chairman of the Superintendent Student Advisory Committee — something he put together just this year.

"I found over the last four years that my life’s passion is serving others," said Bryant. 

It was at the Superintendent Student Advisory Committee — the first of its kind in Lake County — where Bryant knew he could make a real difference, not only at his school, but his entire community. 

"I’ve had student body presidents all across the state of Florida asking me on different advice on how to make those changes and how to go about bringing them," said Bryant.

He said the committee creates a stronger connection between the school board and issues important to students. The first thing Bryant tackled as chairman was an outdated dress code.

"The reason we decided to do dress code as our first issue is because it’s what students in Lake County were asking for," he said. "So students wanted changes, and we, as their representatives of the Student Superintendent Advisory Committee, were bound to deliver."

The new committee wrote and presented a new dress code, which the school board ultimately approved.

"Other counties just do one student representative to the school board," said Bryant. "I thought it would be better if there was a council of us."

The district will implement the new dress code in the coming school year. Lake County Superintendent Diane Kornegay told Spectrum News 13 that this year’s pilot program proved successful and the Superintendent Student Advisory Committee will continue next year.

"We know that the student voice is really important," she said. "And being able to bring these students in, bring that student voice, that student perspective of what’s happening in the schools and the things that impact them, has been really powerful."

Next year, the group will have new members made up of student body presidents from different schools.