Accomplishments/Interests: Going from cheerleading to a...


February 21, 1994

Accomplishments/Interests: Going from cheerleading to a seat on the Anne Arundel County School Board seems like a natural move to Bridget Carmichael.

"I enjoy being in front and trying to get the players and the crowd hyped up," said Bridget, who is among four candidates for the student member seat. Being able to speak before an audience is a skill that will come in handy if she wins the seat because Anne Arundel is the only jurisdiction in Maryland where students are allowed full voting privileges.

Adult school board members have questioned whether students should be involved in personnel and budget decisions, but Bridget says she'll fight to keep full voting privileges if elected by members of the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils (CRASC). The election is scheduled for March 17.

"Whatever the board does affects us in the long run," Bridget said. "If they're educating us, how can they say we're not prepared? They're probably just not comfortable with the idea of a student on the board yet. After all, as the first county to grant full voting privileges, we're still an experiment."

Bridget's cheerleading experience has given her confidence and an opportunity to travel.

During the holidays, she traveled to London for eight days to participate in cheerleading exhibitions.

"It was really more of a parade for New Year's. There were a lot of spectators, and you could tell they enjoyed seeing it because cheerleading's kind of a new thing to them," she said.

The trip was even more interesting, Bridget said, because she had just completed a course in European history.

"We saw the Tower of London and Windsor Castle and Stratford-on-Avon, where Shakespeare was born," said Bridget. "It was really interesting to go and see all the places we'd talked about, where all the kings and queens had been."

Bridget maintains a 3.3 grade point average, is a captain of the varsity cheerleading squad and is active in school politics. This year she is vice president of Arundel High School's student government association, a sergeant-at-arms and executive board member for CRASC, and a legislative trainer for the Maryland Association of Student Councils, where she helps other students learn to draft bills for consideration.

In her spare time, she attends sporting events and volunteers with the Special Olympics. "My brother has epilepsy and a learning disorder, so I help out," she said. Bridget will be a senior next year and is considering majoring in political science or sports medicine in college. Her interest in political science is obvious from her school activities, but why sports medicine?

"I have a bad knee," she said. "I've had physical therapy, and we have a sports medicine elective, and it caught my interest."

Comments: Her role model, she says, is her mother.

"She's divorced, and I really admire how strong she's been through everything our family has been through," said Bridget. "She's really involved in my life. I don't have my license so she drives me around a lot, and she's really done a good job of supporting us."

"Student Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To contact him with suggestions or recommendations for this feature, call the Anne Arundel Bureau at 315-8911 or fax the information to 315-8916; or mail suggestions to: The Sun For Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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