It has been a whirlwind school year for Wossen Ayele, the student member on the Board of Education.
Ayele, who graduated Thursday from Atholton High School, will hand over the reins this week to the next student board member, Andrew Gavelek, 16, a junior at Reservoir High School.
"Wossen has been an outstanding young man," said Roger Plunkett, the school system's business, community, government relations officer, who works closely with the student member on the board. "He does his homework. He has been very dedicated to his role as student member. He's intelligent and hard-working."
Ayele, who plans to study pre-med and public health at Yale University in the fall, has packed plenty of activities into his high school career.
"I hope that I will look back and they will say that I have represented students and that I contributed to board discussions and brought a new perspective," Ayele said. "I hope that I helped pave the way for the new voting member next year."
Ayele helped to campaign for future student board members to receive partial voting rights, which Gavelek will be the first to enjoy.
"The most rewarding part was meeting a lot of students throughout the county and listening to their concerns," Ayele said.
Ayele has been a member of the National Honor Society; the student advisory council to the Black Student Achievement Program; and an executive board member for the Student Learning Conference.
In addition, he has worked as an editor for his school's newspaper, participated in the Maryland Association of Student Councils and the Howard County NAACP Youth Council.
Ayele was an intern in the research and clinical areas of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins and the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Neurosurgery and Oncology Laboratory.
Spring Fun Day
Glenelg Country School will host Howard County Special Olympians for a Spring Fun Day and cookout and carnival Wednesday.
At 6 p.m., the athletes and their parents will be partnered with Glenelg Country School students, who will accompany them to 15 interactive stations, such as golf, balloon popping and face painting.
The festivities will be held in the campus' Middle School Theater and Gymnasium.
After the activities, a cookout, music and dancing are planned.
Kate Broderick, a junior at the school, is heading the event and has helped organize Special Olympics Fun Day since its inception at the school in 2001.
"As a bowling coach, it's rewarding to spend time with the kids in a different atmosphere, and to see the volunteers and athletes enjoying their time with one another," said Broderick, who has also worked as a Special Olympics coach.