Julie Yang takes office on BOE


Photo courtesy Julie Yang

BOE member Julie Yang is sworn in on Dec. 1, 2022.

Julie Yang is a former data analyst and college and career counselor for Montgomery County Public Schools, and spent seven years as a classroom teacher. After winning the general election on Nov. 8, she assumed office on Dec. 1, 2022, to represent District 3 on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Yang said that the most fulfilling part about being a board member is collaborating with her board colleagues and superintendent to “continuously work towards the goal of improving students’ achievement and success.”

In the past few weeks, Yang has started conversations on how to best communicate programs and resources to students and families. “Areas that we can increase our efforts in include recruiting more students to the Grow Our Own program, stronger partnerships with local organizations, and developing strategies to attract career changers,” Yang said.

Her mental health awareness agenda is still expanding. In the past year, MCPS, with support from the BOE, has made efforts to put resources into the mental health area: social workers were hired and Bridges to Wellness Centers were set up in high schools. This year, Yang said she would like to see that these resources are effectively utilized, and that “the wellness programs in each school are student-centered and incorporate students’ voices.”

Yang is also a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community as a mother of a child who identifies with the LGBTQ community. She is working toward changing our curriculum to reflect more diversity in history, in terms of LGBTQ history and other minority communities. Yang hopes to invite people from different backgrounds and from different communities to speak. “Everyone can share their experiences and stories. Our goal is an inclusive community where everyone can feel safe and thrive,” Yang said.

Yang chose a career in education following a turning point in her childhood.“When I entered elementary school at the age of 7, I could not count to 20. But a second-grade teacher did not give up on me. She’s the one who changed my trajectory in life. Fast forward, I went on to become a school teacher, a data analyst, and a college and career counselor with the mindset to bring the same kind of impact on some students as my second-grade teacher did for me. My wish has always been, and even more so now that I’m elected, to positively change the life trajectory of many more students in our school system because every child can succeed if they are given a chance to,” Yang said.

What motivated Yang to run for the board and provide better education to the future MCPS community was the way education completely changed her life. Reflecting on her life’s journey that brought her here, Yang said she “kept on coming back to this crucial point – how education made the biggest difference for [her].”

She is grateful that despite growing up poor, unlike many of her childhood friends, Yang said she had “good fortune and opportunity” to finish secondary school and eventually went to college and received a graduate degree. Yang hopes to continue making a positive impact on her communities and continuing to branch out to schools in MCPS.