The smile on Jay Witcher's face kept spreading as the realization that he is the county school board's new student member began to sink in.
"Oh boy, oh boy," Witcher said. "I feel so weird. I can't believe I won."
Witcher, a 16-year-old junior at Glen Burnie High School, received a majority of votes yesterday to win the student seat -- the only such position in the nation that comes with full voting rights.
About 260 students representing 28 senior, middle and junior high schools participated in the election held at Northeast High School. The voting delegates listened to speeches from Witcher and two other candidates, Annapolis High's Kristin Butler, and North County High's Jason Norton.
Witcher, the first student from Glen Burnie High to hold the student board seat, said he did not believe he had a chance of winning against two strong opponents.
"I had really high hopes of winning," Witcher said. "But the other two candidates were great. I really thought they might have been more qualified."
With a grade-pointaverage of 3.0, Witcher was just as qualified as his opponents. He has served as a voting delegate for the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils and the Maryland Association of Student Councils. In addition, Witcher is active in indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse and band.
In June, Witcher will replace outgoing student board member Miecha Werwie, a graduating senior at Southern High.
Witcher said that when he applied to sit on the school board he had no ideahe would actually have a chance to vote on issues affecting his fellow classmates. Voting on behalf of his fellow students is a big responsibility, but one for which Witcher said he is ready.
"I'm reallylooking forward to it," Witcher said. "I'm very interested in seeingthe school system get more involved in multicultural education.
"This county is made up of different people, a conglomeration of people. But for the most part we're only taught about whites in history. We don't hear about black or Spanish people. It's one-track history. For each person to get along better, we have to know more about ourselves and about each other," he added.
But before Witcher begins to have his say about the school curriculum, he said he'll have to adjust to the idea that he's won the election.
"My friends want to takeme out to celebrate," Witcher said. "But I think I'm going to go home and lie down. I have to let this sink in."