Student Advisory Board

Est. 2019

The Student Advisory Board is a citywide, youth-led organization that communicates student perspectives, opinions, and concerns to the administrative and policy-making bodies of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). Eligible students attend a middle or high school in San Diego Unified. Meetings are once per month and serve to effectively represent and empower students of SDUSD. Students are able to speak up for what they believe needs to be improved in their education system; this board is respected by members, advisors, and serves as a reminder that anyone regardless of age can make a difference. The Student Advisory Board remains a board that is for the students, by the students.


Please check back August 2023

Meet your Leadership Team

Max Allen -

Vice President

Max is a junior at Point Loma High School. She is serving her third term as a member of the Student Advisory Board and is excited to be serving her first term as Vice President this year. Max enjoys being a part of groups that allow her to learn as much as she contributes! She loves having the chance to be involved in her community while also working to improve the local school system. She is passionate about creating change through positivity and empathy, through student outreach and listening to diverse voices she wants to build more positive school atmospheres! At her own school she is co-president of their Greenpeace branch, which works to give back to local beaches and parks, as well as an editor for her school’s newspaper. Off campus Max is a member of the Aaron Price Fellows and runs with her cross country team. This year she is looking forward to connecting with more students and watching the Student Advisory Board grow! Feel free to reach out to Max at

Zeynep Cotuk-

Vice President

Zeynep Cotuk is a senior at Scripps Ranch High School. Zeynep is serving her first term on the Student Advisory Board. She feels compelled to serve on the Student Advisory Board from her drive to help improve the education system around her, and to give back to the system that has provided her with a variety of knowledge in preparation for the real world. She believes that her experiences throughout ASB have allowed her to face and witness issues around not only her campus but around the district, and she joined the student advisory board in efforts to bring more awareness to those setbacks. Issues that she wants to focus on throughout her term on the Student Advisory board, include allowing more students to utilize the board and share their struggles in their daily school experiences. She thinks that in order to become an effective board, they have to make sure that they give the promised voice to students, and give them more power within their education. She is also passionate about funding issues surrounding ASB, and how to create a unified curriculum across the board for ASB classes. Outside of school she focuses on joining committees of leaders across the state of California like CASC or CASL, allowing her to gain exposure to successful programs across the whole state. Zeynep also focuses on stem based research projects relating to neuroscience to help build a foundation for her future career goals. This year she is looking forward to building a better connection between students of SDUSD and the district to allow for more students to comfortably address their issues within their campuses, and she looks forward to working very closely with the students advisory board to achieve this goal. Feel free to reach out to her at

Damian Danemann-


Gustavo Damian Danemann Soto is a Junior at University City High School. He is ecstatic to begin working with the San Diego Unified Student Advisory Board for his first year, currently as secretary. Raised in Ensenada, Baja California, Damian moved to San Diego in June of 2020 in hopes to open doors for his future. He has an outsider perspective of the district, which has compelled him to voice his concerns and proposals through the board. He looks to share his experiences as a new student to the American public school system in order to improve the support immigrant students receive. A native Spanish speaker, he wants to improve the district’s Spanish curriculum to more accurately represent both the language and the people that speak it. Damian joined UC High’s newspaper his sophomore year, becoming an editor months after and currently being its editor-in-chief. During the summer, he participated in an internship with the San Diego Union-Tribune, an unforgettable experience that he deeply cherishes. He is also part of the Aaron Price Fellows, a leadership program that every year selects 45 freshman students from select public high schools in San Diego and prepares them to be engaged citizens of their community. A major film enthusiast, Damian looks to apply all of his lived experiences towards a career as a filmmaker. During his free time, Damian loves to play tennis, read film reviews, and write some critique pieces of his own.

Mary Aledia-

Dir. Public Relations

This is Mary Aledia, she’s an 8th grader attending Mount Everest Academy. Mary is currently serving her second term on the Student Advisory Board, and her first year on the leadership team. Mary found the Student Advisory Board as an outlet to speak up for the students of SDUSD and a way to give her school and people a voice and stance on important matters. She believed that the Student Advisory Board could help her voice their concerns as well as her community’s concerns with our education. This school year, Mary hopes to advocate for more mental health and the mental health of students. Especially the opinions and experiences of students from alternative education and schools, such as MEA. At MEA, she joined a couple clubs. But, at her previous school at Marshall Middle School, she was a part of her school’s JMUN team. As for outside of school, she’s an avid figure skater and usually spends her time outside of school at the ice rink. But this year, Mary is looking forward and hopeful to hearing your experiences as students and advocating for you all. You can reach out to Mary at

Sanjana Ganguly-Fitzgerald-

Dir. Equity/Inclusion

Sanjana Ganguly-Fitzgerald is a sophomore at San Diego High School currently serving their first term as the Director of Equity and Inclusion of the SDUSD Student Advisory Board. They have attended Title I schools since elementary school and have experienced the effects of unequal funding and inadequate resources afforded to the inner-city schools of SDUSD. This has driven their advocacy for equal opportunity and access to school-provided support for students across the district. Sanjana believes that student representation is essential in conversations pertaining to the future of SDUSD, and works to provide an avenue for student voices to be heard and centered in such decision-making spaces. Their passion for social justice and community activism began early and their work as a grassroots organizer and student advocate was first launched into motion during seventh grade when they became a founding member of the Cesar Chavez Service Club’s Chavista Congress. They currently serve as the Vice President of the Congress, and are working to head policy action at the City Council level to combat climate change. In 2022, they co-founded their organization Students for Education Equity Now (SEEN), seeking to pioneer positive community change across the school district, amplify student voices, and ensure that opportunities and necessary resources are available to the entirety of SDUSD’s student body. Sanjana also currently serves as the Vice President of the GSA at their school, as well as the Director of Community Organizing of the SDHS Climate Action Club. Outside of school, they enjoy doing art and writing, as well as practicing the language of their heritage, Bangla. Sanjana looks forward to advocating for equity and positive change across the SDUSD community this year. Feel free to reach out to them at

Jacqueline De Anda-

Dir. Equity/Inclusion

Jacqueline De Anda is an 11th grader at East Village Middle College High School. Jacqueline is serving her third term on the Student Advisory Board. Jacqueline wants to prioritize students' voices and strives to make sure students from all over the district know that their voice is important. Jacqueline has felt and seen the effects of feeling voiceless in the district and wants to make sure students don't feel like that. In a district as big as ours, it is easy to feel powerless, especially as a student, but Jacqueline wants to make sure that everyone knows they hold a stake in their own education. This year Jacqueline is working towards building a diverse Student Advisory Board where different voices are highlighted. On her school campus, Jacqueline is part of ASB and was secretary of her school's GSA during her Freshman year. Jacqueline loves spending time listening to music and going to concerts as often as she can. This year she is looking forward to being one of the two directors of diversity for the Student Advisory board. Feel free to reach out to Jacqueline at