The Effingham County Board of Education is pleased to announce that Amanda Starling, a sophomore at South Effingham High School, has been selected to serve on State Superintendent Kathy Cox’s Student Advisory Committee.
The SEHS sophomore is one of 55 members chosen from among 700 applicants. She will be required to meet with Superintendent Cox and the committee four times during the 2008-09 school year, providing her own transportation to and from the meetings. Starling will also report on her experience to Superintendent Randy Shearouse and the school board members.
“These students truly serve as advisors by helping the Georgia Department of Education make sound policy decisions,” said Cox.
Georgia high school students in grades 9-12 were invited to apply and had to submit an application which included a list of their school and community activities and an essay question. The question asked what the candidate thought was the biggest issue confronting students in her school and how she would relate this to education in general. Starling’s answer focused on students who work after school and the affect this has on the high school graduation rate.
“I know a lot of students who have to work late on school nights and they just fall out in school because they’re so tired,” explained Starling. “I believe this contributes to why some students drop out of school.”
Amanda is the daughter of Skip and Dr. Nathalie Starling of Sylvania. Dr. Starling is a teacher at SEHS. She said she and her husband were “shocked” to learn that their daughter had been selected from among 700 applicants.
“I had given the information letter out to a lot of students in hopes that they would submit an application,” stated Dr. Starling. “I gave one to Amanda as well.”
When a big envelope from the Georgia Department of Education arrived in their mail, the Starlings didn’t even open it until the next day.
“She (Amanda) had just participated in the Youth Summit sponsored by Gov. Perdue and the Congress for 4 - H,” explained Dr. Starling. “My husband thought the envelope had something to do with that event. I thought that it was a ‘thank you for applying’ letter.”
When Amanda did finally open the envelope, all she could say was, “Wow! This is a big opportunity.”
Starling is the second SEHS student to serve on Superintendent Cox’s committee and the third student from Effingham County.
These students are playing a valuable role in helping to keep Cox and the Georgia Department of Education informed about the issues that are important to students in Effingham County. Nine other high school students from Effingham County applied.