Corey Andrews may only be 19 years old, but he believes his recent experiences in the Howard County Public School System make him best suited for the Board of Education.
"Having come through the school system recently, it gives me an interesting perspective," Andrews said. "Candidates that are traditional candidates don't have the same perspective that I have."
This is Andrews' second run for the board.
As a senior at Howard High School in 2012, Andrews launched his first campaign for the Howard County Board of Education. He finished with the 13th most votes out of 15 candidates, failing to advance through the primary.
This time around, Andrews says he has a broader focus, discussing more issues for his campaign, but he remains primarily concerned with school overcrowding.
"Overcrowded schools can be a huge inhibitor to students' academic success," he said. "If the county is going to allow high-density development in some areas, we need to have the public facilities, including the schools, to keep up with it."
Andrews also said that he notices a trend in prioritizing STEM education, resulting in less class time for music and the arts, which he thinks is a "big mistake."
Andrews, an Elkridge resident, acknowledged that he learned a lot in his first run, including that being successful is a matter of meeting as many people as possible.
"I don't take any vote for granted," he said.
Andrews, who's attending Howard Community College and studying sociology, plans to attend Towson University when finished at Howard. He is not taking courses this spring, saying he wanted to focus on his campaign.
If elected, he'll have to find a way to balance his time in school and on the board.
"It's just like a lot of students in college have a job," he said. "This would be my job."
Andrews, who did not complete the endorsement process with the Howard County Education Association, said he did not want the support of the teachers union because he believes the current administration with HCEA is unprofessional.
"I really feel that the HCEA has done a poor job at reaching out to the school board and the way it's addressed the superintendent has been counterproductive," he said.
Andrews believes Superintendent Renee Foose has done a "great job" during her 22 months as chief of the school system.
"I like the changes that she's made in the school system, she's been a reformer where it's necessary," he said. "She holds everyone to a high standard, and I think that's great."
Andrews has no qualms with the current board, saying they are doing a "fantastic job," but clarified that he believes there is always room for improvement.
Andrews, involved in the Student Government Association and golf team while at Howard, said his education was "very rigorous," but added that students in the middle might not be receiving enough attention.
"All school systems could do a better job with focusing on the students in the middle," he said.
The Howard County native said that his hometown has given him a lot, and he thinks it's his duty to give back.
"I think that the school system is sort of a local treasure, I guess, and we have to do everything we can to preserve it," he said.
This is part of a series of profiles of Howard County School Board candidates.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun