Montgomery County Board of Education
Every year, students vie for a coveted position called SMOB; this student member of the board has the power to voice opinions in discussions or even vote on the Montgomery County Board of Education.
This year, thirteen candidates begin campaigning to become the 42nd SMOB, replacing current SMOB, Ananya Tadikonda at the start of this summer.
On Feb. 27 at Watkins Mill High School, the SMOB Nominating Convention narrowed down these thirteen potential students to a final two. Among this pair is Clarksburg junior Zoe Tishaev, who won one of the two nominations. The other nomination was awarded to Nate Tinbite, junior at Kennedy High School.
Clarksburg students are proud that one of their own peers has made it this far in the SMOB campaigns.
“I think it’s great that Clarksburg is getting represented,” sophomore Charlotte Sanford said. “Zoe is making an impact.”
Similarly, teachers are excited about Tishaev’s success.
“I was not surprised that Zoe got the nomination because Zoe is a very motivated person and she is a go-getter, so I was very happy to hear she was nominated for SMOB,” math teacher Ling Zhang said.
As for Tishaev herself, the extensive campaign process is bringing troubles and rewards alike.
“The road to the final two has been draining,” Tishaev said. “I’ve fallen significantly behind on my class work, and my grades have dropped. But in a whole other realm, it’s been very rewarding! Traveling the county and learning about the sheer diversity of issues our school system faces has really opened my eyes to experiences outside of Clarksburg.”
Tishaev is passionate for her beliefs, and she clearly communicates these ideas in her campaign, laying out clear reasons why she should become the 42nd SMOB.
“I hope to have a stronger understanding of the issues around the county as a member of the Board, and I hope the change that I bring is communicated to the students, so people aren’t left wondering — as they all too often are — ‘what does the SMOB actually do?’” she said.
Tishaev extends this idea of communication into future plans if she were to be elected as SMOB.
“I think outreach has historically been not the best, and I hope to close the gap between students and the decision-makers by committing to school visits,” she said.
Tishaev has poured months of passion and hard work into her campaign, and soon, the Clarksburg community will find out the results. The final SMOB voting will take place on April 24, with votes being conducted through all individual schools throughout the county.