Board of Education Swears In Newest Student Member (Video)
She’s only 17, but the newest member of the Montgomery County Board of Education has a big responsibility, taking on almost full voting rights as she steps up to the mic.
MyMCMedia’s Valerie Bonk has more about Dahlia Huh’s plans as the student member of the board.
After reciting the oath of the office following Clerk of the Court Loretta Knight, Huh became the 37th student member of the Board of the Education, also known as the “SMOB,” ready to take her seat at the table.
“I really got involved in student government in seventh grade so it’s middle school it’s really young,” said Huh at her swearing in ceremony. “In high school I also joined the student government and from there I got involved in the County level and then I learned about the Board of education and just seeing all of the SMOBs throughout the years just really inspired me to run for this position last year and I’m just so grateful to have been elected.”
Huh will serve as the new “SMOB” through July 1st of next year, taking over for last year’s student representative Justin Kim, who was honored for his service at the ceremony and will be studying business at the University of Michigan this fall.
“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Kim said. This past year I worked very hard with my colleagues on the board to do everything from trying to push back start times for our high schools to improving our school support improvement model, really just everything the work that we’ve done I think it’s really stepping stones for the work that we will do ahead.”
Part of Dahlia’s plan for the next year includes proposing lunch and WiFi on campus at the high school level and lunch cellphone rights for middle school students.
One of her other major focuses is to fight the General Assembly for full voting rights for the student member of the board in Montgomery County. They currently have almost full voting rights with the exception of boundary and budget votes.
“It’s a pretty hefty task,” Huh said. “We’ve only had it for two years out of the 37 years that we’ve had student members of the board so it is a hefty task but working with other organizations and there’s some favorable environment in the Maryland Senate which is where we failed a couple of years ago so hopefully we can get that to pass this year.”
“It’s really powerful I mean it just shows how much we value the student voice,” said Joshua Starr, Montgomery County Superintendent of Schools. “Students are who we serve, we have to be constantly hearing from them and the student member of the board of education plays a critically important role in ensuring the student voice is brought into it.”
And for Huh’s mom, she’s looking forward to watching her daughter grow and give back to her community.
“She worked very hard and we’re very proud of her,” said Huh’s mother Yoon. “There were many sleepless nights and makeup homeworks and exams but she really wanted to do it and she said Mom I really want to do it, I want to make the system better for kids to enrich their education and if I can help I really want to do it.”