senior profiles editor
Every year, students in MCPS vote to have someone represent their voice on the Board of Education. The position of Student Member of the Board (SMOB) is a big responsibility and time-consuming. Two candidates are vying for the students’ votes. One of these candidates is junior Zoe Tishaev from Clarksburg.
Tishaev made the choice to run for SMOB after learning about the county student government program. “For most of my time as a student, I had no idea of how the board of education operated or what the county council was, let alone the fact that there was a whole network established to convey student voices. Many questions were arising around us that nobody knew answers to. I decided change needs to come from within the system. That’s why I’m running for SMOB,” Tishaev said.
Students often have doubts about what the SMOB can accomplish but Tishaev wants to change that. “Too many students are under the mindset that the SMOB has no power when that couldn’t be further from the truth. That is why I’m putting an unprecedented emphasis on communication in this campaign. With me on the Board, students will always be kept in the loop on the decisions of MCPS,” Tishaev said.
If Tishaev is elected to represent the students as SMOB, she has a clear outline of what changes she wants to focus on. “We need to prioritize the infrastructure of our schools in our capital budget. I want to broaden mental health resources, expanding wellness centers to all high schools. I also want to improve school lunches: we need to diversify our menus, and expand options for all students,” Tishaev said.
Running for SMOB has created challenges for Tishaev, but she has enjoyed it. “A commitment to campaigning comes with the cost of time, and transportation is hard. I have still loved everything. Hearing the perspectives of the diverse range of concerns of students from around the county is truly eye opening,” Tishaev said.