...TC School Superintendent C. Berry Carter II, better watch out -- the newest member of the county's school board already wants his job.
"I want to be Berry Carter," said 16-year-old Desira St. Pierre, chosen yesterday as the new student representative on the school board. "Really. My ultimate goals is to be a superintendent. I care about kids and I think I can make the biggest difference as a superintendent."
First, though, she wants to do work related to special education. Then, she wants to be a guidance counselor, and eventually an assistant to a superintendent.
A junior at Broadneck Senior High, Desira (pronounced des-ir-ay) was one of two students competing for the job now held by Sanford J. Witcher, a senior at Glen Burnie High. The other student was Michele Roanhouse, a junior at Severna Park Senior High School. Desira, who was elected by student members of the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils, will be sworn in this summer after the governor confirms the $H nomination. Once she takes office, she will have full voting privileges, just like the seven adult members.
If you think she's a little young at 16 to have her goals so firmly set, you haven't seen her resume. It's already as long as your arm.
She's on the Principal's Advisory Committee, she's junior class secretary, she's on many Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils committees, and she's a volunteer at the Salvation Army.
Desira also has been the county's student representative to The Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, and a delegate to the National Association of Student Councils in Colorado.
She works as a hostess at a local restaurant. For the past three summers she's been a full-time nanny.
Although it was only a few hours after her election, Desira made it clear yesterday afternoon that she was ready for action.
"Every school I went to visit while I was campaigning, they said the No. 1 problem or issue in schools is violence, so I want to bring that up," Desira said. "In one middle school they were telling me stories about students bringing guns to class. There was some dispute over whether it was a real gun or just a BB-gun, but, in any case, it scared the students. And if students are scared, they're obviously not concentrating on what they're being taught."
Desira visited students at about 20 of the area middle and high schools during her campaign, and said she will continue to visit schools to gauge students' opinions.
"I also think it's really important to get elementary school students involved in" the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils, said Desira, noting two elementary school groups had attended the group's convention. "Then they can see that they can make a difference."