Jeremiah Salley, a senior at Savannah Early College High School (SECHS), has been selected to serve as a member of the State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ 2021-2022 Student Advisory Council.
He will represent the Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) as well as Georgia’s First District Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA).
“It feels really special. This opportunity is so big and it’s like I’m carrying my people on my back. I have the opportunity to actually speak up and have a voice,” said Jeremiah Salley about being selected to the council.
Salley’s mom found this opportunity and encouraged him to apply. “I thank God that she did because now I am just going to take full advantage of it,” he said.
The State School Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council is a group of students in grades 9-12 who discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Georgia.
Salley was the only student from Chatham County selected and he has his mind on what he wants to see change.
“I would like to see more student interaction. ln today’s society, the youth, the students, their voices aren’t really heard,” he said. “We are told just sit down or we don’t want to hear you and we’re never incorporated in anything. I just feel like being a part of this committee. We will be a part of something.”
Members meet throughout the school year with State Superintendent Woods and are advisors who act as connections between the Department of Education and the students of Georgia. Salley is looking forward to meeting the superintendent and building a relationship with him to ensure certain changes are put into action.
Students can apply for the advisory council at the beginning of each school year by obtaining an application from their school or the advisory council website.
Members are chosen by a committee of Georgia Department of Education representatives based on the applicant’s response to questions.
Because students who participated in the 2020-21 Student Advisory Council only had the opportunity to attend virtual meetings, Superintendent Woods will also host two in-person meetings specifically for members of that council who are still enrolled in high school.
“I’m looking forward to speaking about the passing of House Bill 444. It was a bill passed last year and it cut the funding of college credit hours that students can earn in early college programs all throughout Georgia. So, I’m just not affected but many of my peers are affected as well,” he said.
Salley wants his community to know that he is also here to listen and receive input on issues other students would like to voice and see change. Ideas, suggestions and concerns can be submitted to his email address email@example.com.
In addition to his high school studies, Jeremiah is dually enrolled at Savannah State University and Savannah Technical College with 52 college credit hours complete.
“The whole purpose of me wanting to come to Savannah Early College High School is because my older brother Jaylon, he was able to earn his Associate of arts degree first. He was the first one from Savannah Early College High school to graduate with one,” said Salley.
His favorite subject is science, which he enjoys because he says he finds it innovative and it improves his way of thinking. Salley credits his family with being a huge positive influence and his mentors are his dad, his older brother Jaylon and his twin brother Joshua.
“They pushed me to do hard but my dad, he really, really pushes me to do better and to study more, read more and I just feel as though that I have to come through not just for him, though but for my community,” Salley said.
He says he eventually wants to become a doctor. Along with his many accomplishments already, Jeremiah is also a part of SECHS Cross Country team, Beta Club, National Honors Society, and the Voices of Our Foundation.