• Mary Harrison

Freshman selected for state Student Advisory Council

Keya Hunter, a 9th-grader at CHS, was chosen to serve on Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods' 2020-2021 Student Advisory Council.

Keya Hunter, a 9th grade student at Cairo High School, has been chosen by Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods to serve on his 2020-2021 Student Advisory Council, it was announced this Thursday, October 15.

Keya, the daughter of Natasha Hunter, says she is honored to be selected as a member of Superintendent Woods’ advisory council.

“I see it as a great opportunity for me and for the future,” Keya shared, “It’d be good to say in interviews and just education-wise to say [I was chosen to be on the Council].”

The 9th-grader explained she was “confident” in her answers to the application questions, one of which she says asked her opinion on “how to change the [Georgia public] school system in some way.” However, Keya was unsure she would be picked to serve on the Student Advisory Council because of her age: “I was like, I’m a freshman, so I’m not sure they’ll pick me,” she commented.

As an advisor on the Council, the fourteen-year-old most looks forward to “getting to have my words mean something and having my opinion shown, possibly changing something [for the better].”

Keya, who previously attended Washington Middle School, says her favorite subject is Spanish, and her favorite teacher is Mr. Cody Ray, one of the new assistant band directors at CHS.

The 9th-grader plays trombone in the Syrupmaker Band; she is also a member of the high school’s SAGE and FBLA chapters.

Outside of school, Keya enjoys volunteering at local food banks. The Cairo resident draws and pen poems for fun, and some of her writing has been featured in the annual “Voices of Grady County” program.

The fourteen-year-old says she unwinds by listening to all types of music, watching content on Netflix like “The Good Place,” and hanging out with friends, on- and off-line.

Keya aims to attend college at the University of Georgia or Georgia Institute of Technology after graduating from high school, and she hopes to make a career out of her writing and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Richard Woods, Georgia State School Superintendent

According to the Georgia Department of Education, State School Superintendent Richard Woods has selected 64 Georgia students to serve on his 2020-2021 Student Advisory Council. Throughout the school year, these middle and high school students will meet with Superintendent Woods to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom.

"Now more than ever, it is essential that I receive feedback directly from students on their educational experience," Superintendent Woods said. "My Student Advisory Council has been an invaluable part of my decision-making process for the last six years, and I am looking forward to meeting with the 2020-21 Council soon."

The council includes representation from every Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) district in Georgia. Members were selected from a pool of more than 1,400 applicants who applied to serve on the council. Students were chosen based on the strength of their essay answers, which focused on their ideas for public education.

The 2020-2021 Student Advisory Council's first meetings will be held virtually in November. Details will be sent via email to selected students.

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