As a teenager, Kara Todd is concerned about the high school dropout rate across the state and felt that she could help make some changes by serving on the State Superintendent's Student Advisory Council.
As one of 52 students on this year's council, Kara is the lone student representing Columbia County. She was chosen after an application process that included answering questions regarding the dropout rate and how she would fix a specific problem at her school.
"As a student, I really wanted to see some changes made throughout Georgia and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my voice heard," said Kara, the 17-year-old daughter of Keith and Elizabeth Todd, of Martinez.
After two meetings with the council, Kara, a senior at Lakeside High School, said she has come to realize one thing: Columbia County is a good school system.
"My school system certainly doesn't have the same problems other schools have," said Kara, who serves as a communications officer of the National Honor Society at Lakeside. "I feel very fortunate to be in Columbia County. I've heard awful stories from other students. A lot of the people have complained about the teachers at their schools and they have low graduation rates."
As far as she's concerned, Columbia County is the place to be.
"It has a good attitude and sets high standards," Kara said, but she feels the tech-prep curriculum is not given its due credit.
"That's an avenue for some students and I don't think it is promoted as well as it should be in our schools," she said.
At school, Kara is on the college prep track, with plans to major in pre-law. She's already applied to a number of colleges and also has a desire to study business, which would give her an edge up on corporate law, the specialty she wants to major in.
"Kara is an outstanding young lady," said John Cato, the physics teacher at Lakeside. "She is highly intelligent, extremely polite and mature for her age. She puts in a tremendous amount of effort into everything that she does. Kara often comes in after school to clarify her misconceptions and she is always seeking ways to improve."
It is because of her academic prowess that Kara was among a handful of students chosen for this year's LHS Hall of Fame. She also was on the school's homecoming court this year and hopes to be on the inaugural girl's lacrosse team in the spring.
"I have never seen Kara have a bad day," Cato said. "She always lifts my spirits when I am around her. She has a fiery personality and a keen wit."
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