- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The auditorium at Huntingtown High School began to fill with bubbles Wednesday as Alexya Brown, 15, spoke to her peers and classmates about how to “burst the bubble” parents and teachers can often create for students, “in order to see the future for ourselves.”
The Patuxent High School sophomore was elected to be the new student member of the Calvert County Board of Education, running against Calvert High School junior Logan Toney, Huntingtown High School junior Nicholas Schmitz and Northern High School junior Hannah Gerardy. Brown will take office officially on June 1 after being sworn in at the board in May.
The vote was taken at Huntingtown by a consortium of student governments from every public middle and high school in Calvert County. Each high school was given four votes and each middle school was given two. A candidate needed at least 15 votes to win and, initially, a second vote was taken because the vote was considered too close to call between Alexya and Toney.
“I was very happy when my name was announced,” Alexya said. “Logan is my friend so I would have been happy even if it was him.”
Having been involved in student government since she was in sixth grade, when she was president and vice president of the Student Government Association at Southern Middle School, Alexya said being the student school board member was something she’s been working toward for years.
“I have a passion for advocating for students and I definitely have a big mouth,” she said. “So, this is great to be able to represent the students in Calvert County.”
Alexya has been involved with the Calvert Association of Student Councils since 2011 and has served in a variety of roles, including junior public relations coordinator, secretary, public relations coordinator, a member on the constitution revisions committee and, currently, as a student trainer for CASC and the Maryland Association of Student Councils.
She is also her class president, and was president of the national junior honor society.
“I’m most particularly proud of the broad range of activities and committees I’m involved with in my school and in the community,” Alexya said of her experience, which she said will help her be successful on the board.
She said her first order of business as student board member elect will be to talk with the current student board member, Edward Town, whose last day of service will be May 31 and will be graduating from Huntingtown High School in June. Alexya said she wants to hear from Town what his vision was coming onto the board and what he was or was not able to accomplish.
One of Alexya’s goals is to establish a newsletter from her for the rest of the student body. She said this will improve communication between her and the students of Calvert County Public Schools, and invite students to give their input and ask questions.
Town said Alexya will learn a lot from being on the board, but may come across some surprises.
“She might be surprised that you can communicate with people, but … there’s not as much feedback,” Town said. “If you expect people to come to you with your problems, that’s not realistic; you have to go out there and figure it out.”
“My main advice is to listen to others,” Town said. “[Board President] Dr. [Eugene] Karol has so many years of experience and there’s a lot to learn from him, and listen to the people in the community, and when you listen to other people and you’re prepared and go to the meetings, you’ll start to realize how you can accomplish your goals.”
Alexya said she also wants to work with students in regard to the new Common Core State Standards, incorporating their viewpoints with the implementation and encouraging a smooth transition. In addition, she hopes to increase learning outside of the classroom through field trips and extracurricular activities.
When asked if she had a message for her classmates, Alexya said she would like to say “thank you to my classmates for understanding what a difficult time it was and supporting me in the election and my overall career, and this is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to get it started.”