The Prince George’s County Board of Education held a board meeting on January 23 at 7:00 Upper Marlboro to address school problems, upcoming events and to discuss anything else within the school system.

The meeting started when Surrattsville High School senior Natalie Swadley introduced the agenda for the evening.

Swadley is Vice Wing Commander of the Air Force JROTC unit at her school, plays varsity soccer and softball, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Her plans for the future are to attend a 4-year college, such as Norfolk University, and join their ROTC program and also major in Criminal Justice. She plans to one day become an officer in the military and to become a military police officer.

“I’m a motivated, strong minded …. and I am ready for college,” Swadley told audience and members of the board.

Board Member Curtis Valentine then presented an award to Cynthia Collins, who represented all the custodians in Prince George’s County. Valentine presented the award to show appreciation to all the custodians “who create an environment for teachers and students to come in and be proud of their working environment, and feel safe.”

PGCPS Chief Kevin Maxwell talked about the snow that the county has experienced. Out of these snow day, students have missed two days of school due to schools closing, and went two hours late the other two days.

Next, residents from the audience came up to speak about issues and concerns they are having within the school system.

Eighth Grader Morgan Austin, who currently attends Hyattsville Middle School, is in the Creative and Performing Arts Theater program at her school.

Austin is considered an “out of bounds” student, making her ineligible to attend Northwestern High School, which is where she wants to go for their Performing Arts program. Instead, Austin would have to attend Suitland High School, which is actually further away from her home then Northwestern.

Austin wants to stay around people she is familiar with because she has “built a bond with them through long practices before and after school.”

Austin also has many friends who may attend Suitland with her as well.

A representative from Barack Obama Elementary school brought up the concern about possibly changing the boundaries for the students who attend this school.

Students are commuting as long as an hour away from their homes each day, which requires them to get up earlier, shorten their days and possibly lose sleep.


Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer