School board swears in new stu­dent mem­ber

St. Charles se­nior takes of­fice be­fore sum­mer break

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­

Drew Carter said it still sur­prises him that he was elected stu­dent mem­ber of the Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

“I had no be­lief that I would have a shot, quite frankly, as Charles County is home to some of the best stu­dents, es­pe­cially in SGA — we have some of the hard­est-work­ing stu­dents you will ever meet,” Carter said. “But I’m a very tena­cious per­son, so that I reach out as far as pos­si­ble in all my goals. That’s why I had

the au­dac­ity to run for this po­si­tion.”

Carter, 16, a se­nior at St. Charles High School, was sworn in at the board’s June 13 meeting, tak­ing the Oath of Of­fice from Chair­man Michael Lukas.

Carter said that while he has been in­volved in the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion since sixth grade, he had never run for of­fice un­til his sopho­more year. A visit to the state house in An­napo­lis in 10th grade kin­dled his love of pub­lic pol­icy and gov­ern­ment.

“Once my ju­nior year rolled around, I be­came much more proac­tive,” Carter said. “I didn’t have an elected po­si­tion, but I was ap­pointed to the cab­i­net for my school’s SGA.”

In Jan­uary, the SGA dis­cussed the stu­dent mem­ber of the board po­si­tion. Carter said he reached out to other stu­dents he

has worked with over the years, ex­press­ing his in­ter­est in the po­si­tion.

“I re­ally felt I was the right per­son for the job, that I could rep­re­sent, as I’ve at­tended some of the widest-rang­ing schools de­mo­graph­i­cally, fi­nan­cially and aca­dem­i­cally, so I felt I could re­ally grasp the per­spec­tive of all stu­dents from Charles County, and this be­came some­thing I was re­ally pas­sion­ate about,” he said.

High school stu­dents in­ter­ested in be­com­ing the stu­dent board mem­ber must sub­mit an es­say re­gard­ing a stu­dent con­cern and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. The es­say is

re­viewed by a com­mit­tee of school sys­tem staff. The top three can­di­dates give a speech dur­ing the an­nual Charles County As­so­ci­a­tion of Stu­dent Gov­ern­ments meeting and par­tic­i­pate in a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion with stu­dent del­e­gates. Stu­dent del­e­gates from all mid­dle and high schools vote to elect the stu­dent mem­ber of the board, ac­cord­ing to a CCPS news re­lease.

“I didn’t have any strat­egy, if you will; I just spoke about how I be­lieve I could re­ally rep­re­sent the stu­dents from 20-plus schools around the county,” Carter said. “I be­lieve that if you speak with sin­cer­ity, peo­ple will sense that.”

The stu­dent mem­ber gives an opin­ion vote on most mat­ters that come be­fore the board.

Carter said he has been work­ing on a “master list” of goals, in­clud­ing work­ing on poli­cies and pro­grams to in­crease the num­ber of stu­dents with post-se­condary ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer plans.

“Charles County al­ready does an ex­cel­lent job of that, with our ad­vi­sors and other pro­grams, such as those at the Robert D. Stethem [Ed­u­ca­tional] Cen­ter, but I’d re­ally like

to see the growth con­tinue,” Carter said.

Carter said he would also like to find ways to in­crease the voice of mid­dle school stu­dents in the SGA.

Danielle Car­pen­ter, St. Charles SGA ad­vi­sor, said she has known Carter since he was in mid­dle school.

“Drew has al­ways been his own per­son. He’s al­ways been very head­strong, very con­fi­dent,” Car­pen­ter said. “A lot of times, dur­ing high school, you have kids who are ‘find­ing them­selves’ — but Drew knows who he is, he knows who he wants to be, and if he wants some­thing, he goes for it and he fig­ures out what he needs to do to get there. Noth­ing is go­ing to

stop him but him­self.”

Carter is cur­rently plan­ning to take three or four Ad­vanced Place­ment cour­ses next year while also be­ing dual en­rolled at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land and tak­ing fresh­man col­lege level cour­ses.

Carter said that af­ter high school, he plans to at­tend a four-year univer­sity with the in­ten­tion of ma­jor­ing in com­mu­ni­ca­tions, busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion,

pub­lic pol­icy and/ or eco­nomics.

“It will de­pend on which col­lege I at­tend, but I’m look­ing to dou­ble or even triple ma­jor. I know it sounds ab­surd, but I’m a very hard-work­ing stu­dent and I feel as though that will con­tinue to come through once I reach the col­lege level,” Carter said.

Carter has served as vice pres­i­dent of the St. Charles chap­ter of the Na­tional

Honor So­ci­ety, pres­i­dent of the NAACP Youth Coun­cil of Charles County and has been elected vice pres­i­dent of the St. Charles Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion. He has a 4.93 grade point av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to a CCPS news re­lease.

In his ad­mit­tedly lim­ited free time, Carter said he is an avid sports fan and also takes part in the Uni­fied bocce and track teams at St. Charles, where they were state run­ners-up, as well as play­ing on the school’s var­sity soc­cer team.

Carter said he also en­joys writ­ing po­etry, par­tic­u­larly on so­cial is­sues and na­ture.

“It’s some­thing that I re­ally feel eases my mind dur­ing the con­stant aca­demic rigor I’ve cho­sen to un­der­take,” Carter said.

Each high school also elected a stu­dent li­ai­son to rep­re­sent the school and share their opin­ions with the school board at its monthly meet­ings. New stu­dent li­aisons are se­niors Kait­lyn Wil­lett (Henr y E. Lackey), Shaun Bur­roughs (La Plata), Joyah Magee (Mau­rice J. McDonough), Jordyn Best (North Point), Jonathon Moss (St. Charles), El­iz­a­beth Bra­ziel (Thomas Stone) and Thomas Rahill (West­lake).


St. Charles High School se­nior Drew Carter, right, is sworn in as Stu­dent Mem­ber of the Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion by board chair­man Michael Lukas dur­ing the board’s June 13 meeting.

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