Thomas Jefferson inspired recently elected student School Board member Adam Newman to seek his spot on the District 202 School Board.

“Jefferson said that those who have the ability to change have the duty to change. I think that my talents, passion and ideas were on the sidelines too long, and it was time for me to give the school something back for all that it has given me,” Adam told the RoundTable.

Adam, who will be a senior next year and took the oath of office on May 12, cited some of the changes he has seen at Evanston Township High School since he was a freshman.

“The teachers and administration are working harder to support kids who need it the most,” he said. “There was no SOS (System of Supports) my freshman year, and I felt that the administration was not working as hard to help the kids that needed it the most. I think that the school in general has stepped up their game to fight the challenges that No Child Left Behind brings up.”

Adam would like to see some of his ideas addressed in the coming year.

He says he would like a “better recycling program, and . . . more direct student input for teacher improvement.” Adam is also concerned about how racial differences affect ETHS. “I would like for the School Board to have a ‘race day’ for students, similar to the one seen on [the television show] ‘The Office,’ but more serious. I would also like teachers to undergo sensitivity [training] for working with different races.”

Adam is proud of ETHS and its resources.

“The course selection is amazing. The building and campus are beautiful. Yet I think that the reason I love Evanston the most is the teachers. I have been amazed by all of my teachers, that not only do they come in with experience, but a passion for what they do. They are a truly great group of people.”

He expressed concern about some students who he says “take their education for granted. I think it is sad, because a lot of kids are missing out on a priceless opportunity.” However, he is still optimistic.

“I think that the passion to learn is within each individual at Evanston, but we have to take each case on a one-by-one basis and hope some respond, and that is the most that … that any educator can do.”

Adam has some advice for incoming freshmen.

“Take advantage, every day, of education at Evanston. You can learn about anything at Evanston, and Evanston can help you become any profession, from senator to mechanic to chemical engineer,” he said. “It is also important that, while school is a struggle, there are many people that are behind you. Evanston has so many resources that can be taken advantage of. There are so many people in the building that care and work hard to improve the education of students.”

Adam’s favorite subject is history, particularly political science. “I have watched a lot of CNN and can talk for hours about the politics,” he said.

One might be able to tell by his penchant for sports metaphors and his team spirit that Adam is a big sports fan. He particularly loves the Chicago Cubs and is a vendor at Wrigley Field in the summer.

Here are some words of wisdom for his fellow students from the new student Board member at ETHS:

“What is important to remember is that an education is important. Work hard, get a goal, work hard keeping the goal in mind, eat your vegetables, and be able to look back at your high school experience with no regrets.”