School board swears in new student member
St. Charles senior takes office before summer break
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.