State School Board Picks Howard High 11th-grader

February 23, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

An intense, outspoken 11th-grader from Howard High School will be the next student member of the State Board of Education, the second from Howard County in four years.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer chose Jamie M. Kendrick, 16, son of Larry and Barbara Kendrick of Elkridge,from two finalists selected by the Maryland Association of Student Councils. The one-year term begins July 1.

Kendrick will not have voting rights on the state board. But he will have a voice, and in the nine months he has been student associate member of the county school board, Kendrick has not hesitated to speak out.

"My job is not just to sit there," he says. "I'm not a 'yes' man."

Kendrick says he thinks board members expected him to beseen and not heard. Instead, he started with a defense of donkey basketball at his first board meeting in June 1991. He has continued giving opinions on issues ranging from delays in fund-raising activitiesto students' desires to have midterm exams given on shortened days with extracurricular activities canceled.

He reports that his outspokenness has landed him in hot water with high schools director Daniel L. Jett, who fills part of the student government advisory role. Kendrick says he resists what he sees as Jett's efforts to change his comments.

Jett says he has never tried to censor the student associate's remarks. Jett says he counsels Kendrick like an English teacherwho says, "When you use that word, it connotes something to me. Is that what you want it to connote?"

County Board Chairwoman Deborah D. Kendig observes that Kendrick sometimes comes on strongly, but that the student associate position is for learning.

Watching Kendrick testify before the State Board of Education in opposition to the proposal to add community service to high school graduation requirements, Kendig says she was impressed by the effectiveness of his deliveryand his poise.

Kendrick's term on the Howard County board will end in June, giving him a one-month breather before he joins the state board. It will be the first break in a schedule that this year includes serving as executive board member of the Howard County Associationof Student Councils; acting legislative director and education liaison for the Maryland Association of Student Councils; and executive board member of the Maryland PTA Council.

He maintains a 3.1 grade-point average with a full six-course load at Howard High, has organized the county Youth Drug Summit in January and works with younger students in the Drug Awareness Resistance Education program. He also works at McDonald's and keeps score for a men's basketball league to makethe payments on his car, a 1984 Tercel.

He also visits as many schools as possible to sound out students.

"I'm not Superman. I'm definitely human. I can't juggle everything. I do a lot because I enjoyit," he says.

Kendrick gets annoyed when people suggest that he'sjust building his resume. Testifying before state legislative committees and roaming the State House, he gets caught up in the excitement. He toyed with the idea of becoming a lobbyist, but now plans to become a teacher and somehow work politics into his career.

He already has the first try for office in mind. If he enters a Maryland college after graduation, he plans to run for the county school board in 1994, after he turns 18.

The first student board member from HowardCounty was Kate Stainer, an Oakland Mills High School student who served in 1987-1988.

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