Passing Positivity Forward for Present and Future Students
May 29, 2019
Student: Jeremee Jeter
School: East Wake High School
College: Catawba College
Somewhere out there in Wake County is a very lucky bunch of one-year-olds. Because in four years they might have Jeremee Jeter as their kindergarten teacher.
It’s going to be awesome. Not only for that group of children, but for many more who will follow them.
Destined to teach
The East Wake High School senior has always known he wanted to be a teacher, and Jeremee already has shown a great deal of leadership ability along with a caring attitude. Two major legs up on becoming a great teacher. He intends to apply with WCPSS after college.
Jeremee started a schoolwide club to spread positivity. He also plays right and defense tackle on East Wake’s football team. He’s involved in theater. And honors chorus. Oh, and he’s written a book. Well-rounded, wouldn’t you say?
“I have always been a fan of education. I always liked school and learning new things,” said Jeremee, who graduates on June 15.
Jeremee owes his love of school largely to his own teachers, who he says have always shown him gobs of support – from his years at Heritage Elementary to several years in Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, then back to Wendell Middle and East Wake.
“I started out with speech problems, and I had extra help. But the teachers always supported me,” said Jeremee. “You could see the passion in them.”
“That’s what sparked the interest in education since I was young.”
Jeremee already has had a taste of teaching, as an intern at Carver Elementary School. And helping out in his own theater classes at East Wake.
“Kindergarten is what I love,” said Jeremee. “The different personalities and passions you see in the kids when they’re younger and carefree and judge-free. They are themselves. They don’t worry about being judged.”
‘Pass It Forward’
That’s the caring part. The leadership role comes in at East Wake. During his freshman year, Jeremee was reading a math problem that referenced the Pay It Forward philosophy. This motivated him to start his own take on the concept, the “Pass It Forward (PIF)” Club.
PIF members collect positive and inspirational quotes (some from famous or important people, some written by the students themselves), and pass them “forward” throughout the school.
The club was sanctioned as an official school club Jeremee’s sophomore year and it now has 30 members. Every two weeks, each member creates 20 quote cards, for a total of 600 quotes. Then they distribute the nuggets of wisdom and ask students to keep passing them on.
The goal: every student in the school receives at least one positive quote every two weeks.
“Some teachers have these (quotes displayed) in their rooms,” said Jeremee. “I’ve seen kids put quotes in their binders because they like the quote they got.”
Jeremee also has written a book, “Forgiveable Mistakes,” about family secrets and how they “spill out,” he said. It will be published this summer by a publisher associated with his grandmother, local author Albertha Burden.
Involvement in students’ lives
In fact, Jeremee likes writing so much that he may also decide to teach English at the high school level at some point. He says his own teachers at East Wake have modeled meaningful involvement in their students’ lives.
“Here at East Wake, every teacher knows me. We all have that good connection,” said Jeremee. “If a teacher doesn’t know a student they will still reach out and say, ‘How’s your day?’”
“Most of the teachers here I’m friends with after they’ve taught me,” he added. “They always say hello and are always checking in to see how we’re doing.”
Jeremee wants to be that kind of teacher. He heads to Catawba College in August to begin preparing for it.
What a lucky bunch of kids.