Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee (SSAC)


Amplifying Student Voice & Encouraging Collaboration

Downey Unified Superintendent, Dr. John Garcia believes that elevating student voices is critical in shaping conversations about education and creating positive impacts in the lives of our students. In the fall of 2021, he created the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee (also known as the SSAC) for this important purpose.

The goal of this committee is to bring high school students together to share feedback, experiences, and viewpoints on a variety of issues taking place in their schools, throughout the district, and within the community. Each meeting empowers our students and administrators to work together on how to best communicate with our student bodies and address topics that most impact students’ day-to-day lives. The SSAC’s ultimate mission is to help ensure equity, enhance the quality of public education, and support the well-being and achievements of all 22,000 students in Downey Unified.

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Superintendent Dr. John Garcia speaking to SSAC members during one of the meetings within the 2022-23 school year.

Student Support


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Make An Impact

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SSAC members from the 2021-22 school year take a group photo with Superintendent Dr. John Garcia during their last meeting of the year.

Our Members

The SSAC is comprised of students in the 10th through 12th grades, representing four DUSD schools: Columbus High, Downey High, Downey Unified Virtual Academy, and Warren High.

Each year, new students are selected to join returning SSAC members based on an application packet that reflects the student’s aptitude for collaborating with their peers, an affinity for discussing different perspectives on school matters and providing their input, as well as their interest in taking part in a thoughtful process resulting in amplifying student voices at the district level.

Who Can Apply

If you are interested in contributing to the mission of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee, please review the application process and requirements found in next year’s recruitment page. If you have questions, you may contact

Applicant Requirements

    • Must be in the 10th-12th grade in the 2023-24 school year
    • Must attend a Downey Unified school
    • Must complete the Application & Reference Form by Fri, May 12, 2023
    • Must be able to attend every meeting in person*

*Meeting Attendance & Participation Requirements

Due to the advisory nature of the SSAC and the topics that are discussed, it is of utmost importance that ALL members attend ALL scheduled meetings and stay in communication about their attendance with the SSAC staff. Meetings will be held after-school on a monthly basis. Student members are expected to attend as well as participate in each meeting.

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Members of the SSAC work in groups at each meeting to discuss important topics affecting their lives every day as students.

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At each meeting, SSAC members are given the opportunity to learn more about their CliftonStrengths as part of their growth and development.

Important Dates

April 21, 2023 – Application and Reference Forms open online
May 12, 2023 – Deadline to Submit
May 25, 2023 – SSAC’s Last Meeting of 2022-23 (Incoming members invited to attend, OPTIONAL)
End of May, 2023 – Acceptance Emails Sent
Aug. 17 or 24, 2023 – Fist Meeting of the 2023-24 school year

2023-24 Meeting Schedule

The SSAC meets in person every third Thursday of the month, between August and May, at the Downey Unified District Office from 4:00-6:00 pm.


GATE students working on a project

Messages from our SSAC Members:

“My advice to future SSAC members would be to not be afraid to share your thoughts. Everyone on the Committee is more than willing to hear your concerns and questions. So, embrace what you have to say every step of the way.”

Jordan, 12th Grade

“My favorite part of my SSAC experience is being united with others across [Downey Unified] with the common goal of improving the district.”

Angel, 12th Grade

“My advice to future SSAC members would be to advocate for what you think is important! Our staff, admin, and district are more than willing to listen with open minds and ears, and they care deeply about making [Downey Unified] better!”

Mikaela, 12th Grade