The countywide Student Advisory Council elected Andrew Ramish, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, to be the 33rd student representative to the Fairfax County School Board. He begins his one-year term July 1.
The student representative is a nonvoting member of the School Board, but does participate in discussions during work sessions and business meetings.
Besides his core classes, Andrew is taking several higher level courses including DNA science 1 and 2, advanced placement psychology, advanced placement French language, advanced placement French literature, geosystems and biotechnology research.
In addition, Andrew has earned best delegate awards at the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference, academic and athletic letters at Jefferson, is a member of the National Honor Society and was an intern for U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R) last summer. He is the 2002-03 first-place winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars McLean Post speech contest and is trying to organize a schoolwide oratorical contest at Jefferson.
Andrew is replacing Matthew Wansley, a senior at Jefferson, who will be ending his second term as student representative June 30.
Andrew answered profile questions via e-mail.
Name: Andrew Ramish
Family: Two older brothers, one younger brother. Parents Ann and Tim Ramish.
How were you selected to be the new student representative? What is your background for the job?
I was elected to serve as the 2003-2004 student representative by the Student Advisory Council, a countywide organization made up of delegates elected at the school level. My qualifications for the job include my work as policy coordinator in the Student Government Association at my school. In addition, I have served as the student representative to the Fairfax County Public Schools' Community Task Force on the Budget.
Why did you decide to seek this position?
I decided to seek this position because I am interested in the policy issues facing the county and I wanted to serve as the spokesman for the student body.
What are the main issues you intend to advocate for on behalf of the students?
The main issues I will advocate include later start times for high schools, a budget that will be beneficial to the students, permission for over-the-counter drugs, a change in the "Kings Dominion law," [which prevents Virginia schools from opening before Labor Day] and student-teacher surveys.
Halfway through your term you could find yourself working with a new School Board (due to the November elections), how do you think that will
impact your game plan in pushing for the students' agenda?
By that time I will have gained some experience on the School Board, whereas some members of the board may be brand new. I believe that will give me a leg-up in my pursuit of the students' agenda.
The student representative is a nonvoting position, so what do you see as your role on the School Board?
My role on the School Board has two main parts. First, I will work to mobilize student support behind common goals. Second, I will try to influence voting members of the board by speaking and by organizing support for a particular course of action.
What are some of your other interests? Clubs, sports or other organizations memberships?
I am actively involved in Model United Nations. I am an Eagle Scout and am currently Junior Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 1978, chartered to St. Mark's Church in Vienna. I have served for the past year as policy coordinator on the Executive Committee of the Student Government.
I have played junior varsity soccer and earned a varsity letter for track.
At this point, do you plan on pursuing politics as a career? If not, what is your possible career choice?
I am considering politics as a career, but I may change my mind.