Sami Saeed elected as 46th Student Member of the Board


Photo courtesy MCPS

Richard Montgomery junior Sami Saeed won Wednesday’s SMOB election with 70% of the vote.

By Griffin Haber

Richard Montgomery High School junior Sami Saeed won the 46th MCPS Student Member of the Board election on Wednesday, according to a press release from the county’s communications office. Saeed is set to begin his year-long term as SMOB on July 1, 2023.

Out of the 55,598 ballots cast, Saeed defeated his opponent, Springbrook High School junior Yoseph Zerihun, with 70% of the vote.

The election results capped off a nearly two-month campaign between finalists Saeed and Zerihun, who student representatives selected on February 22 at the SMOB Nominating Convention. 

As a voting member on the Board of Education, the SMOB serves as the chamber’s sole student representative in a county of more than 160,000 students. The SMOB can cast votes “on matters related to collective bargaining, capital and operating budgets, and school closings, reopenings and boundaries,” the release said. 

Although the job is unpaid, the SMOB is eligible for up to $25,000 in college scholarship funding.

Saeed will succeed outgoing SMOB Arvin Kim, a Whitman senior, with whom Saeed currently works as a member of the SMOB Advisory Council. The council is responsible for helping “the SMOB explore student concerns and ideas, determine potential policy goals and engage with the MCPS community,” according to the MCPS Student Post

In addition to his work with Kim, Saeed serves as president of the Richard Montgomery Student Government Association, and is a member of the Montgomery County Commission on Youth and Children.

Among his policy proposals, Saeed called for increased mental health support, disciplinary and policy reform, greater staff diversity, energy-efficient school services and higher levels of student representation in county government.

Sophomore Lily Cardot supports Saeed’s proposals, particularly his homework reduction and drug management policies, she said.

In his upcoming term, Saeed wrote on his campaign website that he hopes for MCPS “to become the most progressive, innovative and equitable county in the United States.”

“I envision a county where every student can be taught by teachers who look like them, [and] where every student can take classes they are actually interested in,” Saeed wrote.