Valdosta City School District

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Fourteen Valdosta City Schools' Students Selected for Mayor's Youth Council

The VYC, initiated by Mayor John Gayle and approved by the Valdosta City Council at their Sept. 24 meeting, seeks to inspire and prepare local middle school students for leadership and civic opportunities, while allowing them to gain a better understanding of municipal government and community service. 

Selection was based on academics, involvement in school and community organizations, leadership potential, and a written recommendation from a school administrator. The City of Valdosta congratulates the following VYC members: 

Margaret Amelia Barnett, 8th Grade, VMS

Rachel Carter, 8th Grade, VMS

James Drew Correll, 8th Grade, VMS

Jahmareé Council, 7th Grade, VMS

Dante’ Echols, 8th Grade, JL Newbern

Matthew Hall, 8th Grade, HCA

Charlesie Hammond, 8th Grade, St. John

Jalith Harding, 7th Grade, JL Newbern

Russell Hunter, 7th Grade, VMS

Makayla Jackson, 6th Grade, JL Newbern

Nikerria Jones, 6th Grade, JL Newbern

Erin Kelly, 7th Grade, St. John

Zion Leggett, 7th Grade, VECA

Clara Abbi Long, 7th Grade, VMS

Taylor Ramsey, 7th Grade, JL Newbern

Christayanna Williams, 7th Grade, JL Newbern

“It is my desire to engage these youth in their local government before they reach high school and give them opportunities to grow as leaders in our community,” said Mayor Gayle. “I look forward to working alongside these young leaders throughout the school year, hearing their concerns and suggestions, and witnessing the impact they will have on their peers and within our community.”

The VYC is guided by a VYC Advisory Board appointed by Mayor John Gayle, who serves as the head of the board. The 2015-2016 VYC Advisory Board members are: Valdosta Councilman Ben Norton, Lynn Orenstein of Valdosta Middle School, Jennifer Williams of J.L. Newbern Middle School, and city staff members Teresa Bolden and Sementha Mathews. 

The VYC meetings are open to the general public. For more information, contact Valdosta City Clerk Teresa Bolden at (229) 259-3503 or Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews at (229) 259-3548. Citizens may also visit the VYC webpage for more information, or follow the VYC on Facebook at