Friday, January 7, 2011

SubbaRao Yalamanchili to become voice of students

Subbarao Yalamanchili got a taste of local politics last year, when he joined a group of students at a Nashua Board of Education meeting, urging members not to cut into classes and programs at the high schools.

Next week, he’ll be on the other side of the table when he takes his seat as the new student member of the Board of Education. Yalamanchili, a junior at Nashua High School South, was elected by his school’s student body last month and already has a list of ideas he plans on bringing to the table.

“I know I’m going to have an impact. That’s why I’m excited to get started,” Yalamanchili said.
Yalamanchili will be the seventh Nashua high school student to hold the position, which lasts for one year. The Board of Education created the position in 2004, and since then, a new student has been elected each year, rotating between the city’s two high schools. The student member does not get a vote and cannot take part in nonpublic meetings, but can take part in discussion during public meetings and propose motions.

His first meeting will be Monday, the Board of Education’s first meeting of the year. He already has meetings scheduled with Superintendent Mark Conrad and South Principal Jennifer Seusing to help get a better understanding of the issues on the board’s agenda.

“I didn’t want to get to the first meeting and have them ask a question about high school and not know the answer,” he said.

Yalamanchili also wants to continue exploring the possibility of bringing a Dunkin’ Donuts into the high schools as a way to generate revenue. The idea came out of a business class project last year where students were charged with coming up with ways to solve the district’s budget crisis. Yalamanchili was in that class and believes bringing the popular chain to the schools would not only be popular with students but would help bring in money to a cash-strapped district.
Yalamanchili has talked with other students who have held the position for advice, including 2008 student member Christopher Crawford.

Yalamanchili wants to continue one of Crawford’s ideas of reaching out to Nashua alumni for donations to help budget issues. Yalamanchili has aspirations of working in politics as a career. He has already looked at colleges in Washington, D.C., such as Georgetown University and George Washington University.

“I’ve just always wanted to help make a change in someone’s life,” he said.

Yalamanchili was one of four candidates for the position. The vetting process included going before the Nashua High School North student senate, which narrowed down the number to two. Those two finalists, including Yalamanchili, faced off in a schoolwide election last month.
To make sure he is representing students at both high schools, Yalamanchili plans on attending North student senate meetings to get a feel for what their concerns are.

Yalamanchili has already been able to meet several prominent politicians, including President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Yalamanchili will be volunteering with one of Clinton’s organizations this summer, spending three weeks in India, his native country, helping children with AIDS.

Yalamanchili works part time as a math tutor. He is also on the varsity tennis team and a member of the National Honor Society.
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