De’Von Fitts, a junior at Effingham County High School, was recently selected to serve on State School Superintendent Kathy Cox’s Student Advisory Council. The council will meet with Cox four times this year to discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Georgia.
As a member of the state superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, Fitts will be responsible for traveling to and from the meetings. He will have an opportunity to serve as a liaison between his fellow students and thestate superintendent, sharing thoughts and concerns and providing input on state policy decisions. After each meeting, he will share his experience with ECHS Principal Yancy Ford, Superintendent Randy Shearouse and Effingham County School Board members.
Fitts is one of 52 students chosen from over 400 applicants. He was judged in part on his written responses to three questions. Fitts had to describe his suggested solution to improving Georgia’s drop-out rate, how to improve the biggest problem confronting students in his school and his ideas on student leadership.
In response to the question about high school drop-out rates, Fitts stated, “What they (students) are learning at school doesn’t always seem connected to the life they are facing when they go home. I believe if we provide more interesting courses and programs that help students get personally involved both in and out of school, that this would definitely improve the drop-out rate.”
Fitts sees lack of vision as the biggest problem facing students at ECHS. “They are living for today and next week, but they don’t see how their futures can be different from the lives they are living now,” he explained.
As a member of the Rebel Regiment Marching Band, Fitts views leadership as an important quality. “I think it’s a great opportunity when you have the ability and skills to lead people to do the right and good thing,” Fitts said. “I would rather be a leader than a follower any day.”
In addition to playing the sousaphone in the marching band and the concert tuba in the symphonic band, Fitts will be a member of this year’s drama club and the ECHS Student Advisory Committee.
He also volunteers with Overcoming by Faith Ministries and sings with Image Youth Ministries that performs approximately 50 times per year.
This is the third consecutive year that Superintendent Cox has organized a student advisory council. Two years ago, SEHS student Brittany Raymond served on the council. Fitts’ first meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15.