2022-2023 SMOB Election

Michelle Wang, Staff Writer

Since its inception, the Student Member of the Board (SMOB) represents the 111,000 students in Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS). The SMOB has voting rights on BCPS matters, advocates for the needs of students, and serves as an official member of the Board of Education. This critical role allows for a student’s voice on district levels and represents the diversity and needs of BCPS students. Starting in the 2022-2023 year, the SMOB will now have voting rights on the capital and operating budget as passed by House Bill 192 on April 11.  

Each SMOB serves a one-year term and in the recent, 2022-2023 SMOB elections, the two final candidates were juniors Roah Hassan from Perry Hall High School and Masah Farh from Towson High School.

Hassan’s platform focused on mental health, school safety, infrastructure and budget, curriculum, and equity. Hassan’s equity platform aims to reduce the opportunity gap and provide free educational resources to students. Hassan included a student voice platform that focused on giving students accessible outlets and a larger voice on policy. Hassan also works to establish a BCPS Office of Student Engagement. 

Farh’s platform includes policy plans to address the opportunity gap, accountability in education, inclusive curriculums and mental health improvement through school counseling accessibility. Farh aims to improve transportation accessibility through after-school bus services in addition to implicit bias training for teachers. Farh’s curriculum platforms also include more African American and LGBTQ+ history courses.

Prior to the voting, the candidates first underwent a preliminary selection process which announced the final two candidates. After comprehensive campaigning through social media, school visits, and more, the candidates participated in a Q&A session with Christian Thomas, the current BCPS SMOB, and Samantha Warfel, the president of the Baltimore County Student Council. All middle and high school BCPS students had the opportunity to vote virtually on Wednesday, March 17 and both of the candidates’ 3-minute speeches and resumes were available online for public viewing. 

Announced on March 18, Hassan was elected as the 42nd SMOB. The election was close, with Hassan receiving 54.98% of the votes. A record number of 13,169 BCPS middle and high school students voted in the election, representing a 61.55% greater voter turnout than in the 2020 election. 

On behalf of the Dulaney Griffin team, congratulations to Roah Hassan, and well done to both of the candidates!