Students from all around the country gathered at the SMOB nominating convention on Feb. 12 and voted for the candidates they thought could best represent the student body. Victoria Kidder and Nick Asante were chosen, out of 12 other students, to run for SMOB.
As every student will be voting for next year’s SMOB on Apr. 22, it is important to know more about their intentions. Asante is a junior at Richard Montgomery who has focused his last seven years on student empowerment and student voice. Asante was the SMOB chief of staff for Nate Tinbate, the current SMOB. He also served as the MCR-SGA legislative affairs director and worked at the Maryland center for school safety, a variety of experiences that have prepared him for the position of SMOB. Asante’s top goals are to increase access to technology, close the opportunity gap, and improve student life. “I am running for SMOB because it is time to eradicate the inequities in our county, fix the holes still present in our system, and ensure that the student voice is heard,” Asante wrote in his vision statement.
Kidder is a junior at Magruder who represents her school as SGA president and has found a passion for student advocacy. She has been a part of student government since eighth grade. Kidder’s main goals are to provide more extensive mental health resources, fix the opportunity gap, and limit MCPS’ contribution to pollution. “Being a Montgomery County resident my entire life, I know the disparities that exist in our community all too well. With rampant incongruity in racial composition, FARMS rates, graduation rates, and test scores, I feel inclined to ask myself, how could I not do something?” Kidder wrote in her vision statement.
Kidder and Asante have begun making their way around the county to share their intentions and beliefs with all students. It is important for them to make appearances and become well known.
The SMOB is a voting member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. They represent the student voice regarding budgets, reopenings, boundaries, and other important matters but cannot vote on negative personnel actions. Montgomery County is one of only two counties in Maryland that gives this position full voting rights. “I think electing the SMOB each year is very important because of how much they can do for the county and specifically the students. Both candidates this year seem very qualified and I have no doubts that either would do a great job,” junior Paige Abid said.
The nominating convention and general election is organized by students across the county who are a part of the special election committee (SEC). The members have no intention of running for SMOB but rather just making sure everything runs smoothly. They help to organize the election and read the candidates resumes the day of the nominating convention to ensure that the candidates are fit for their intended position.