WESTOVER — High school seniors who will be non-voting members attending the monthly meeting of the Somerset County Board of Education were introduced last month by Jill Holland, supervisor of Social Studies and Media.
Their first session is Sept. 20, starting at 6 p.m. and it can be attended in-person or viewed online live or later.
From Crisfield High School is Abigail Pankratz, who succeeds Tatiana Rubio as the primary representative while Beverly Martinez will return as the alternate.
Abigail, the daughter of Carol and Christopher Pankratz, was vice president of the junior class last school year. She has volunteered in the community at local events and at local health facilities including McCready TidalHealth and Go Getters. She is inspired by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and is concerned about women’s rights.
Her post-secondary school plans are to attend New York University to follow a career that helps children with their feelings.
Beverly is the daughter of Aurelia and Saul Martinez and wants to earn her CNA credentials as she sets her sights to eventually become a physician by first attending Salisbury University after graduation. A member of the National Honor Society who also enjoys soccer having played on the CHS women’s soccer club, she is concerned about the impact COVID-19 has had on schools.
From Washington High School Cassidy Cavins returns as the lead representative. The daughter of Veronica and Chris Cavins, this NHS student who earned a Gold Award in Girl Scouts is concerned about media bias. She is a member of the marching and symphonic band, SADD and plays field hockey.
Her career plans are to become an aerospace engineer.
The alternate for WHS is Helen Tsigehet, daughter of Dehab Tekle. Helen is also a NHS student and member of SGA and SADD. She has been on the track and field hockey teams, and enjoys sports, painting and cooking. Her concerns are Roe v. Wade, war and racial issues. After graduation she wants to attend the University of Maryland, College Park, and become a pediatrician.
The students will report on school activities in the southern and northern ends of the county at the beginning of each meeting. Unlike some counties, however, they cannot vote — a privilege recently made more clear in a recent ruling by Maryland’s highest court that despite a student not necessarily being of legal voting age if they are allowed to vote it has as much standing as that of any other elected or appointed board member.