The Students Choosing Their Voice


by Justin Friday

The FCPS Board of Education is well known to every student in Frederick County, yet very few students are aware of the Student Member of the Board (or SMOB). Yearly elections are held to determine the new SMOB; this representative will act as the voice for the student body during FCPS functions even though the SMOB has no voting power.

Each year any number of students may apply to run for SMOB but usually only a handful ever make it to the latter half of the campaign. Even though any student can apply does not mean it is an easy feat; all applicants are reviewed by FCAS (the Frederick County Association of Student Councils) and must fill out a variety of forms as well as complete an essay.

This year the cast of campaigners will include Sophomore William Anderson from Walkersville High School, Junior Carter Gibson president of FCAS from Oakdale , the current SMOB Junior Sarah Perez from Tuscarora, Junior Luciana Rascher from Brunswick, and Junior Madison Wagner from Urbana. The voting itself will commence on February 8th, and before you make a decision, you may want to check out the FCPS YouTube channel (don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe) to see them speak at the Town Hall panels and other functions.

Our own Oakdale candidate, Carter Gibson, will be relying on Oakdale support to get ahead in the coming election. During an interview with Carter he was asked what he planned to do if elected; his response is as follows: “My biggest platform is to reshape the way we deliver education; I want to give students more freedom in choosing their learning structure to learn in things [in fields] like engineering, economics” as well as others.

Carter suggests that there is a separation growing between the SMOB member and the student populace. He states that this separation is caused by so many candidates opening Twitter and Instagram to get feedback from the students, but many of those students don’t even know that there is a SMOB.

“The SMOB is responsible for reaching out to the students; it is not the responsibility of the student to reach out to the SMOB,” Gipson explains

  Regardless of what your stance is, as a student it may be in your best interest to learn what you can about the candidates and form your own opinions. Just as it is the responsibility of an American to vote wisely; it is equally prudent for students to take an active part in their education, and select a Student Member of the Board that will best represent them.