Meade High junior selected as Anne Arundel school board nominee Student member gets full vote on the panel

March 21, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

For the second straight year, a Meade Senior High School student is the choice of his peers to serve as student member of the Anne Arundel County school board.

"I hope that I can accomplish as much as the people who have come before me," Christopher R. Barbour, 17, a junior, said after the votes of 270 middle and high school students were tallied yesterday for the two candidates.

Student delegates to the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils, the countywide student government group, met the candidates and voted at Severna Park High School.

Their choice is likely to be the nation's only student member of a school board with full voting privileges. Gov. Parris N. Glendening makes the appointment, but governors generally go along with student picks for the year term that starts July 1.

"The system as a whole has to adjust and look at different ways of improving the schools," Barbour told students in his brief campaign speech. He said students need textbooks -- the board has an acknowledged shortfall of about $6 million worth of books -- technology and the best resources possible to prepare them for their future.

School environment

The school environment could be improved with increased involvement in school activities, Barbour said.

He said he will explore restoring activity buses for high school students so that more students can join after-school events, clubs and sports.

"Trying to get more people into activities is hard because people say, 'Well, I don't have a ride home,' " he said.

Barbour, a quarterback on his school's county champion football team, said he is giving up football and swimming next year to make time for the school board, but he plans to stay active in student government and activities on Fort Meade. He lives on the post with his parents, Army Sgt. First Class Stephen Barbour and Cindy Barbour.

Second candidate

The other contender, Jennifer K. Svara, 16, an Annapolis Senior High School junior, said running for office was a good experience. But losing the election means she will not have to scale back a rigorous academic program, she said.

"I have five [advancement placement] classes next year," she said.

If the governor confirms Barbour, he will follow Steven White Jr., a Meade senior, onto the board.

Pub Date: 3/21/97

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