Finalists Named for Student Member of County School Board

During a nomination convention, two students were selected as finalists to be the next student member of the Montgomery County School Board.

Arvin Kim, a junior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, and Baba Cisse, a junior at Albert Einstein High School, were selected out of 16 candidates. The winner will succeed current SMOB Hana O’Looney, a senior at Richard Montgomery.

The other candidates were:
• Heera Anand, junior, Poolesville High
• Jaiden Burney, junior, Richard Montgomery
• Max Choi, junior, Thomas S. Wootton High
• Ava Cook, junior, Northwest High
• Shubhang Eruventi, junior, Richard Montgomery
• Christina Garcia De Leon, junior, Clarksburg High
• Liam Kirby, junior, Walter Johnson High
• Maahe Kunvar, junior, Northwest High
• Eleanor Pugh, junior, Walt Whitman
• Norma Romero-Reyes, junior, Montgomery Blair High
• Sarah Seam, junior, Col. Zadok Magruder High
• Muhammad Wali, junior, James Hubert Blake High
• Yehonatan Tapiro, junior, Northwood High
• Todd Zhou, Winston Churchill High

Cisse, vice president of his class at Einstein, says his main concerns will focus on COVID-19 protocols, promoting eco-friendly schools, closing the achievement gap, and addressing the academic impacts virtual learning has. Cisse is a member of the SMOB Advisory Council and MoCo Pride Youth’s outreach team, as well as Einstein’s varsity track and cross country teams.

Kim, a member of the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association, was a founding member of MoCo Pride Youth and was formerly involved in the Maryland Association of Student Councils, Asian American Progressive Student Union and MoCo Students for Change. Kim is also the chief of staff for the countywide student government association, and was formerly vice president of the Montgomery County Junior Council Student Government Association.

Kim claims to have a “180+ point plan for MCPS,” according to his campaign website. The points center around improving school safety, curriculum, mental health resources, equity, and student participation in decision making.

Student members of the Montgomery County school board have full voting rights, except on negative personnel actions, and receive a $5,000 college scholarship, student service learning hours and one honors level social studies credit.

Each of the finalists will continue campaigning until the final election on April 20. All Montgomery County middle and high school students will be able to vote. The results of the election are expected to be announced the same evening. The victor will be sworn in on July 1, and serve out a one year term.

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