Lyndsay Schoenhals (Government Relations Committee Member, Oklahoma State University), Tristen Black (President-Elect, University of Oklahoma), and Stacey Evert (President, Brownell Talbot School)Stacey Evert (President, Brownell Talbot School), Senator Deb Fischer, NE

(Pictured on the Left) Lyndsay Schoenhals (Government Relations Committee Member, Oklahoma State University), Tristen Black (President-Elect, University of Oklahoma), and Stacey Evert (President, Brownell Talbot School);
(Pictured on the Right) Stacey Evert (President, Brownell Talbot School), Senator Deb Fischer (NE) 

On March 3rd through the 4th , three GPACAC members represented the Great Plains and advocated for
students’ rights in Washington DC. During these two days we were trained and educated on what is
important to NACAC, how to advocate successfully and make meaningful connections. The GPACAC
members included Past-President Stacey Evert, Current President Tristan Black and Gov. Relations
Committee Member Lyndsay Schoenhals.


The Advocacy day began with a day-long training. We heard from NACAC employees, members and
veteran advocacy day attendees. We also heard from a member of Virginia Delegate, Alfonso Lopez, and
Kathy Valle, the senior education policy advisor for the house committee on education. They gave us
wonderful inside information on how to talk to our elected officials and what is happening on important
bills. We spent a few hours on the counselor to student ratio. NACAC unveiled an interactive state-by-
state map that shows the counselor to student ratio for each school district in each state. Lastly, we
went over the importance of international students, resolving DACA and financial aid programs.
The next day was when we went to the Hill. Since our members were from Nebraska and Oklahoma, our
meetings consisted of meeting with 2 senators and 1 representative from Oklahoma and 2 senators and
1 representative from Nebraska. We mostly met with the staff and aides that work with education
policy, but Stacey was lucky enough to get an actual meeting with one of her senators! Overall the
meetings went well and we feel that we got our message and points across. We are looking forward to
working with these official and their teams in the future.


If anyone is interested in learning more about the Government Relations Committee of GPACAC or
joining, please reach out to Lyndsay Schoenhals at [email protected] We are always looking to
add more members and help find ways to advocate for the students of GPACAC.

 

 

 Terri Schuelein (Drumright Schools), Lyndsay Schoenhals (Oklahoma State University), and Dr. Vicki Schaeffer (Heritage Hall),

Terri Schuelein (Drumright Schools), Lyndsay Schoenhals (Oklahoma State University), and Dr. Vicki Schaeffer (Heritage Hall)

 

GPACAC Goes to The OK State Capitol!

The first ever GPACAC “Hill Day” in Oklahoma was help on Tuesday, Feb. 26th. Terri
Schuelein (Drumright Schools), Lyndsay Schoenhals (Oklahoma State University), and Dr. Vicki
Schaeffer (Heritage Hall), spent the afternoon visiting with five state representatives (three of
whom sit on the Education sub-committee), explaining who we are and why college/career
guidance is crucial to all students in the state of Oklahoma. Equipped with a handout, prepared
by Bryon Williams (Kansas State University) and Schoenhals, we were able to discuss funding
for schools, financial support for college students, and many more topics.
 While we seemed to
make more of an impression with some than others, this was a start! They now know that we
are here, and will be watching closely what they do. A few asked great questions, and even
indicated they might need our help in proposing some new ideas as they move forward to
support education in our state. So, where do we go from here? This is just the first step in
advocating for our students. Contact your legislators (remember, they work for us!), tell stories
about your students and what they need, and invite these elected officials to your schools. Once
they see the great work being done in our high schools and universities, they will understand
how crucial it is to support our work. We will be heard!