City of Fairfax School Board Welcomes New Student Representatives

Aashray Manchanda, a senior at Fairfax High School, will be the new student representative for the 2020-2021. (photo, right above) In his term, Manchanda will attend all regular school board meetings to present the student update and will work on projects throughout the year with the board. In addition, student representatives choose one project to focus.

Manchanda is an alumni of Greenbriar East and Greenbriar West Elementary Schools and Rocky Run Middle School. Manchanda is the founder of Fair Lakes Youth Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young students to pursue STEM careers. He was also profiled this spring on ABC News for his Hack the Pandemic organization which crowdsources personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate them to first responders, healthcare professionals and small businesses. Through Hack the Pandemic, he has donated over 10,000 PPE across the nation. This year Manchanda would like to work on improving Fairfax High School’s STEM Lab and explore new ways of improving after school activities and interconnectedness between all four city schools. “I want to advocate for more opportunities for our student body, and establish new learning programs and initiatives across Fairfax City Schools,” said Manchanda.

“We were immediately impressed with Aashray’s dedication to his community through the Fair Lakes Youth Association and his work with Hack the Pandemic,” said City of Fairfax School Board Chairman Carolyn Pitches. “Aashray will be a valuable member of our school board this year and we look forward to working with him and hearing his advocacy for the students in the Fairfax High School pyramid.”

Junior Darwin Otchere will join the Superintendent Advisory Team (SAT) as the student representative from Fairfax High School. (photo, right, below) The SAT is an advisory group compiled of parents, school staff, business leaders and students working with City of Fairfax Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Pajardo that meets quarterly to discuss issues surrounding the city schools such as capital improvements, technology in our schools and city projects impacting the school community.

Otchere attended Eagle View and Willow Springs Elementary Schools and Rocky Run Middle School. Otchere is involved in student government, track and field, robotics and is a member of both the Math Honor Society and the Science Honor Society. A dedicated community member, Otchere has over 900 community service hours including mentoring students in robotics and tutoring. Like Manchanda, Otchere would like to see an increase in funding for STEM programs in the City of Fairfax Schools. In addition, Otchere feels the responsibility of representing all students as the student voice on the SAT.  “My motivations for becoming the SAT student representative were to effectively present the views and concerns of students and to ensure their concerns are taken into consideration when making decisions that may affect their lives,” said Otchere. “My racial and ethnic backgrounds have enabled me to build relationships with students of many diverse backgrounds in the community. An important issue that I would like to work on is ensuring racial justice and equality for all students in the Fairfax City and County schools.”

“I am excited and proud to welcome Darwin to the Superintendent Advisory Team. I know he will be a valued member and will have a strong voice representing the students of Fairfax High School,” said Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Pajardo. “Darwin’s commitment to his community and helping others is clearly a guiding light in his life and I look forward to learning from him and listening to his perspective as we enter the 2020-2021 school year.”