WINCHESTER — When 17-year-old Amanda Christian attends James Madison University in the fall, her high school mentorships will help her as she studies communications and public relations.

Amanda, the daughter of Mike and Febra Christian, mentored with The Winchester Star and with the director of communications for Frederick County Public Schools while maintaining a 4.4 GPA at James Wood High School.

She is ranked 12th in her class of 308, according to the school guidance office.

While working both at The Star and the school system office she had the opportunity to explore several areas related to communications. She had an article published in the newspaper and created a video that was uploaded to her school’s website.

Amanda said she had always been interested in public relations, but she’s not sure what she wants to do with her degree yet, possibly something related to politics.

“I love working with people and being creative,” Amanda said. “So if I can find something that combines those two things, that would be great.”

While in high school she tutored students in English as a Second Language, was a vice president of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and student government. She was also class historian, played basketball and volleyball, and was president of the Spanish club.

“Being involved in such a wide range of activities has helped to make me well-rounded,” Amanda said. “I feel like I have a good balance of academic activities, sports and other things.”

As a member of the Spanish club, she not only had the opportunity to learn the language, but also to learn about the people who speak the language and their culture. She had the opportunity to experience the culture first hand on a school trip to Costa Rica.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to experience a type of life I never would have had the opportunity to otherwise,” Amanda said. Having such a wide variety of experiences throughout her high school career not only makes Amanda a more well-rounded person, but it also has given her several opportunities to explore her interests and find her passion.

— Contact Julia Kazar at

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