The Board of Education on June 12 met its new student representative for the coming school year, Westlake High School rising senior Krisha Patel. Patel was sworn in as the Student Member of the Board of Education by Chairman Barbara Palko at the start of the meeting.

Patel, who served as one of three junior class marshal’s for Westlake’s Class of 2018, said she was looking forward to her new role.

“I look forward to sharing a lot more student input with the Board. I hope to be able to pass on concerns and input from all students and not just through myself and the liaison group,” Patel said. She said one of the biggest concerns she sees as a rising high school senior is the lack of motivation among students, and the amount of testing students face at the end of the school year. “Students can say they don’t feel supported, but may not be looking for the right resources from their teachers.”

Prior to her selection as Student Member for the 2018-19 school year, Patel served as secretary for the Charles County Association of Student Councils (CCASC). She is active in the student government association (SGA) at Westlake as president of the Class of 2019, captain of the varsity tennis team, president of the National Honor Society, vice president of the International Club and is a co-captain of the school math team.

Joining Patel at the county leadership level are several student liaisons from the county’s seven high schools. Each high school is required to have a liaison, who is chosen by methods approved by the SGA and principal. Patel will work with the student liaison committee throughout the school year.

Liaisons for the 2018-19 school year are:
• Alexis Lepe, rising senior and alternate Student Board Member, North Point High School;
• Christina Walker, rising sophomore, Henry E. Lackey High School;
• Hannah Piazza, rising junior, La Plata High School;
• Emily Kerns, rising junior, Maurice J. McDonough High School;
• Katherine O’Meara, rising senior, St. Charles High School;
• France Tomgambo-Kaye, rising junior, Thomas Stone High School; and
• Brianna Wilson, rising senior, Westlake.

Patel was named the new Student Board Member earlier this school year following a vote among students on the Charles County Association of Student Councils (CCASC). Students interested in consideration for the position are required to submit an essay regarding a student concern and possible solutions. A committee of school system staff reviews the essays.

The top students in the running for the position give a speech at the annual spring CCASC meeting, and participate in a question and answer session with student delegates. Student delegates from all middle and high schools vote to elect the Student Member to the Board, as well as officers to represent the CCASC the following school year.

Officers for the CCASC for the 2018-19 school year are:
• Carlos Eldridge Jr., rising senior, Westlake, president;
• Pam Rentz, rising senior, Westlake, first vice-president;
• Kaelyn Buoy, rising seventh grader, Theodore G. Davis Middle School, second vice-president;
• Artez Jones, rising senior, Westlake, secretary; and
• Aqsa Siddique, rising senior, Westlake, charity coordinator.