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2020-21 SMOB Election to be Held Online June 2-3, 2020

April 28th, 2020

The Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) will hold its general election for the 2020-21 Student Member of the Board (SMOB) online June 2-3. Originally scheduled to take place on April 22, the election was postponed due to state-mandated school closures in response to COVID-19.

HCASC student leaders facilitate and manage both the campaign and election process with guidance from the HCASC Advisor and HCPSS central office staff. The SMOB election process aims to empower students to learn and put into practice the habits of mind it takes to serve as engaged and informed citizens. HCASC provides an enriching experience for candidates where they can find meaningful ways to lead and serve either as the next Student Member of the Board or in other HCPSS student leadership positions throughout the school system.

The 2020-21 SMOB candidates – Joshua Drasin of Long Reach High School and Zach Koung of Howard High School – were chosen at the HCASC Convention, held February 18. One hundred forty student delegates, nominated by their principals and peers to represent each middle and high school across the Howard County Public School System, attended the convention. Eleven students competed, from which Drasin and Koung were chosen as finalists.

L-R: Josh Drasin and Zach Koung

Drasin and Koung began their respective campaigns in March, but suspended them when schools closed on March 13. They will resume their campaigns on May 4. Typically, SMOB candidates use a combination of online platforms, print materials, and in-person exchanges to connect with student voters during the campaign process. With schools being closed, this year’s candidates will use social media, personal websites, and a newly created Canvas page to articulate their respective platforms and why they are the best choice to represent the student body on the Board of Education next year.

All 6th-11th grade HCPSS students are eligible to vote in this year’s SMOB election. Students will receive Canvas Announcements explaining the election and voting process. Media specialists at each school will facilitate the voting process and the HCASC advisor will collect results from each school and compile all data in a final report to the Board of Education.

As in the past, students will have the ability to watch a video about the candidates prior to casting their votes. The video will feature the candidates’ personal statements and answers to questions about what they hope to accomplish as SMOB, as well as the relevant experiences they bring to the position. Videos are available for viewing on the Howard County Student Community Canvas page.

The new SMOB will serve as a member of the Howard County Board of Education during the 2020-2021 school year and will be eligible to vote on all issues except those pertaining to budget, personnel, or other restricted matters.

More information about the 2020-21 SMOB campaign and election process can be found on the HCASC student community Canvas page, which students can join using their HCPSS Canvas accounts, and the HCASC website. Students and community members may also send questions to HCASC via Instagram @_HCASC_ or via email at hcascsecretary@gmail.com. Additionally, HCASC advisor Cindy Drummond is available to answer questions.

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