At last week's Prince George's County school board meeting an extra chair and microphone were already set up for the arrival of the board's newest member - a student to be elected June 10.
Twenty-three students have signed up to run for the school board slot recently made available through a Maryland General Assembly law, school officials said.
The hotly contested, non-paid position on the school board will not enable the student to vote on school board issues and will not permit the student to attend most executive sessions or take part in labor negotiations, said Don Murphy, director of student concerns.
The law, which permits the addition of a new student school board member, was passed after three years of lobbying by the county's Regional Student Government Association (RSGA), said Murphy, who added that the student government association will conduct the election on June 10.
Murphy also said his office is working with Robert J. Antonetti, County Elections Board administrator, to insure that the election procedures are correct.
According to the director of student concerns, the student candidates will speak for five minutes each on June 10 at Eleanor Roosevelt Senior High School in Greenbelt. The election will be held after the speeches. Qualified students - incoming juniors and seniors from high schools throughout the county - will be voted on in four separate elimination ballots by student delegates to RSGA.
"The new student school board member will put high school students in closer touch with administrative policy and procedures," said Murphy, who added that one of the responsibilities of the new student board member will be to report back to RSGA.
Murphy said he was surprised at the large turnout for the school board slot and added that he had guessed that approximately 20 students would sign up.
The candidates are: Kendall W. Baxter, 11th grade, Northwestern Senior High; Anita L. Brooks, 12th grade, Crossland Senior High; Wilfrid H. Callcott, 11th grade, Northwestern Senior High; Melanie P. Cohen, 11th grade, Bowie Senior High; Christine A. Dant, 12th grade. Fairmont Heights Senior High;
Susan E. Davenport, 11th grade, Potomac Senior High; Michele A. Eaton, 11th grade, Bladensburg Senior High; Joel Fedorko, 12th grade, Bowie Senior High; Irene K. Ferber, 12th grade, Parkdale Senior High; Joni J. Frostbutter, 12th grade, Bowie Senior High; James H. Gurganious, 12th grade, Potomac Senior High; R. Todd Johnson, 12th grade, Largo Senior High; Lisa K. Keenan, 11th grade, Largo Senior High; Joseph C. Kennedy, 12th grade, Central Senior High;
William A. Lloyd, 12th grade, Suitland Senior High; Cindy Long, 12th grade, Laurel Senior High; Jose J. Loys, 12th grade, High Point Senior High; Julie M. Patterson, 11th grade, Bladensburg Senior High; Natalie Shishkevish, 12th grade, Friendly Senior High; Terri Stevens, 11th grade, Laurel Senior High; Michael Trees, 11th grade, Friendly Senior High; Paul D. Werner Jr., 11th grade, Oxon Hill Senior High and Valerie E. Williams, 12th grade Bladensburg Senior High.