Jessica Fitzwater says she loves working with students while they're too young to care what people think.
The Oakdale Elementary School music teacher said the onset of adult self-consciousness discourages many people from putting themselves out onstage. But when children are little, they are risk-takers, she said.
If teachers can "catch them when they sing their heart out or dance their heart out," there's a chance that they will hang on to that fearlessness as they grow up, she said.
Fitzwater, 29, said her experience as a performer — playing the violin in the Frederick Symphony Orchestra and taking the stage with Equinox Dance Company — has made her someone unafraid to take a public stand.
Her willingness to step forward could move her from the orchestra hall to Winchester Hall; Fitzwater says she's "strongly considering" running for the District 4 seat on the county council in 2014.