A Suitland High School sophomore and Walt Whitman High School junior have been elected to the Prince George's and Montgomery school boards, respectively. They will begin serving their one-year terms July 1.
Melanie Goldsmith, 15, will succeed Reginald Moore in Prince George's and follow her mother's footsteps as a board member. Joanne Goldsmith served on the county school board from 1969 to 1973 and now is a member of the Maryland State Board of Education.
"I want to try to have better communication between the students and the school board," said Melanie Goldsmith, class treasurer and an aspiring actress whose favorite role was as a vampire in a junior high production of "The Vagabond Vampires."
"I think the students are very interested in what is going on, but they haven't had a chance to express their views." She said she wants to start a newsletter to students to inform them of board actions.
In Montgomery County, Jonathan Lipson was elected to succeed Traci Williams as student board member.
Lipson, a drummer with a local band called The Nitz, was student correspondent for the school board last year, covering board meetings for a student newsletter.
"It's important to carry on the respect that Traci brought to the position because that is a key way that the board views students in the county," said Lipson. "She's been persistent, but not belligerent or petulant. She's more level-headed and pragmatic than many of the board members."
Goldsmith and Lipson will be the fourth students in each of their counties to be elected to the school boards since the state passed legislation creating the student positions. The student members, who do not have a vote on the board, were elected at a convention of high school delegates.