Tina K. Krasnodemski sees the county's education system from two perspectives.
The 18-year-old Pylesville resident is a graduating senior at North Harford High School. She also is the student representative on the county Board of Education.
Tina finishes her one-year term on the eight-member education board in June. The position requires her to attend as many as seven school board meetings and hearings in a month, many of which can last hours.
The senior was elected to the school board by the county Regional Association of Student Councils, which is made up of representatives from Harford's high schools.
"I was never too involved in student government before I joined the school board," Tina said. "But with problems that I saw in school, I thought I was a good communicator to get them across.
"If you want something done," she said, "do ityourself."
The friendly, outspoken student said she expected to address minor issues, such as the cost of student lunches, when she first joined the education board.
Once on the board, however, Tina said she found herself discussing issues like the school budget and the student expulsions.
Richard Molinaro, president of the educationboard, said Tina provides the board members with insight only a student can give on issues such as expulsions and curriculum.
"She's agood representative of the students," Molinaro said. "That's her purpose, and she does it well."
"I'm on a first-hand basis with the students," she said. "(Board members) forget what it's like to be young and in the schools."
As an example, Tina said she brought student concerns about the AIDS education curriculum to the board.
County schools now offer AIDS education in ninth-grade health classes, butmany students believe that is not enough, Tina said. She cited a poll showing 94 percent of the county's high school students favored more classes addressing AIDS.
The education board is considering the addition of curriculum about AIDS to the schools' contemporary livingcourses for juniors and seniors, Tina said.
Juniors and seniors need the extra courses on AIDS as they prepare to enter "the real world," Tina said. She added that they have a better understanding of theissue than freshmen.
"The reason I feel so strongly about the classes is that you hear more and more about AIDS every day," Tina said."It's really scary.
"If there's anything that can be taught to prevent it, I think it should be known," she said. "You need to be enlightened on that subject."
In addition to the school board, Tina isa member of North Harford's student council and art guild.
Tina, who has a 3.0 average, said she plans to attend Towson State University in the fall, after she and her 250 classmates graduate June 5. Shehasn't chosen a major yet, although she says is considering art.
Tina, the daughter of Frank and Kathleen Krasnodemski, balances a part-time job at a Cockeysville video store with her school work and school board duties.
"That's why I want to take it easy this summer and get my head together for college."