The Frederick County Board of Education will have a new student member beginning July 1.
Mia Martinez, a rising senior at Brunswick High School, will take over for Malachi Macon after being elected earlier this year. Martinez said she is excited to begin working with the board and representing students.
Although she is joining the board during a time of uncertainty and adversity, Martinez said she feels it will provide a unique opportunity for well-balanced decisions.
“When I applied last year, I obviously had no clue that all of this was going to happen, but I feel like in a way it brings people closer together,” Martinez said. “Finding solutions and making sure that things work out the way they’re supposed to or in the right way and reaching out and really connecting together as a community.”
She hopes that the shift to more online and virtual socialization will help her build a better social media presence and connect more with students.
“I really want to get that established for Frederick County even if it’s like virtual question and answer...lots of connectivity between all students, not just those involved in student council,” Martinez said.
Her priorities are still the same as when she ran — college and career readiness and mental health resources — but Martinez also wants to make sure the pandemic doesn’t affect the student experience.
“My main goal is making sure that this school year doesn’t seem any lesser than the rest, no matter how it ends up or how we go back to school,” she said.
Macon, who is leaving the student member position after serving for a year, said he feels Martinez will excel in the role.
Macon, a rising senior at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, said he feels he gained a lot of skills and a deeper knowledge of how the school system operates while serving as the student member of the board.
He wishes he had expanded student outreach more but plans to work closely with Martinez over the next year to increase connectivity.
As of now, Macon plans to attend college after graduation and is considering schools such as the Naval Academy and Howard University.
He wants to study mechatronic engineering which is a mix of mechanical and electrical engineering.
During the board’s most recent meeting, members had the opportunity to thank Macon for his service.
“We’re proud to have had someone of your caliber and integrity representing our students,” Board member Michael Bunitsky said.
Board member Karen Yoho said she admired Macon’s ability to step outside his comfort zone.
“For somebody so young, that is a wonderful thing. I think I was 50 before I started trying to get out of my comfort zone so you are way ahead of the game,” Yoho said.
School superintendent Terry Alban said Macon exhibits incredible leadership and that she is glad he still has one more year with Frederick County Public Schools.
“I am incredibly excited that you are going to be a senior next year because there is no way I would want to have to say goodbye to you today without being able to give you a very big hug and tell you that you are going to make FCPS proud forever,” Alban said.
When asked if he had any final message to FCPS students, Macon said he is thankful to them for voting and that he is grateful to have been able to serve.
“It was a phenomenal opportunity,” he said.