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The Upcoming SMOB Election: Understanding the Role of SMOB



In Montgomery County, students hold a unique opportunity to impact decisions affecting their education through the Student Member of the Board (SMOB) election. As the upcoming election on April 17th approaches, it's essential to grasp the significance of this role and the process involved.


The SMOB serves as the voice of over 160,000 students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), advocating for their interests, concerns, and perspectives at the highest level of decision-making within the school system. Unlike many other student member positions across Maryland, Montgomery County stands out as one of two counties that grants its SMOB full voting rights. With the authority to vote on crucial matters such as collective bargaining, budget allocations, and school boundary decisions, the SMOB holds substantial influence in shaping the educational policies and practices directly impacting students' lives. Additionally, the Student Member of the Board receives a $5,000 college scholarship, Student Service Learning hours, and one honors-level social studies credit.


For the 2023-2024 school year, Sami Saeed, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School, serves as the 46th Student Member of the Board, representing the student body's interests and concerns. To take into account student voice, Saeed hosts monthly SMOB Advisory Council meetings and is in frequent communication with MCPS students. To get involved in the meetings or communicate with Sami, visit www.sami4smob.com


For the upcoming 2024-2025 school year, the election will take place on Wednesday April 17th between the two candidates that have emerged for the position: Samantha Ross, a junior at Montgomery Blair High School, and Praneel Suvarna, a junior at Clarksburg High School.


The selection process for the SMOB election commenced with the Nomination Convention held at Watkins Mill High School on February 14th, organized by the Special Elections Committee (SEC). From a pool of eight candidates, Samantha Ross and Praneel Suvarna were chosen as the finalists by 400 middle and high school delegates who attended the convention.


All students in grades 6-12 are eligible to vote in the SMOB election. Voting will be conducted through electronic balloting sent to students' school emails on April 17th, with voting opening at 7:30 am and closing at 3:30 pm on the same day.


Through active engagement in the election process, students can shape the future of education in Montgomery County with a direct platform to voice their opinions and influence policies. Understanding the election process and participating in voting are crucial for students to uphold the principles of student representation and democracy within Montgomery County.


Written by Arav Giragani

Published by the Communications Department


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