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Howard High School Student Zach Koung Elected 2020-21 SMOB

June 12th, 2020

Zach Koung speaking to a group.

Zach Koung, a Howard High School rising senior, was recently elected 2020-21 Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB). The Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) held the election online, June 2-3, as the originally scheduled April election date was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic-related school closure.

As the new SMOB, Koung 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.

“My desire to help bring change in Howard County is what inspired me to run for SMOB,” Koung said. “Last year, I attended the SMOB convention to help narrow down the candidates; I felt that we needed to be having more conversations around mental health and financial literacy. I am honored to be serving as the next Student Member of the Board of Education.”

Zach Koung being sworn in as SMOB.

Koung says he’s always been interested in leadership and politics. In his sophomore year, he was the class president, and this year, he is the president of the Howard High Future Business Leaders of America student organization.

“Throughout the campaign, Zach was a true champion for progressive issues, including but not limited to financial literacy, mental health, equity, racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality,” said Alex Horn, a Wilde Lake High School rising junior who served as Koung’s campaign manager. “As the next Student Member of the Board of Education, Zach will be a strong ally to justice and equity, not compromising on his core values.”

Josh Drasin and Zach Koung.

Koung and Long Reach High School rising senior Joshua Drasin were the SMOB candidates chosen at the HCASC Convention in February. With schools closed during most of their campaigns, Koung and Drasin used social media, personal websites and a newly created Canvas page to articulate their platforms. All 6th-11th grade HCPSS students could vote in the SMOB election through Canvas.

HCASC student leaders facilitate and manage the campaign and election process with guidance from the HCASC advisor and HCPSS central office staff. The SMOB election process aims to empower students in developing skills necessary to be engaged and informed citizens. HCASC offers candidates opportunities to lead and serve either as the next SMOB or in other HCPSS student leadership positions throughout the school system.

More information about the 2020-21 SMOB campaign and election process can be found on the HCASC website. Students and community members can send questions to HCASC via Instagram or email. Additionally, HCASC advisor Cindy Drummond is available to answer questions at Cindy_Drummond@hcpss.org.

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