A Richard Montgomery High School junior will serve as the next student member of the school board.
Ananya Tadikonda in a Wednesday election edged out another candidate for the post, landing 51 percent of the student vote to replace Matt Post on the eight-person Montgomery County Board of Education. Her opponent, Nimah Nayel, also a Richard Montgomery junior, scored 49 percent of the vote.
Montgomery County Public Schools students from grades six to 12 were able to vote in the election, and nearly 84 percent of them participated.
“I am incredibly humbled and honored to have been elected as your 41st SMOB (student member of the board),” Tadikonda , who will begin her one-year term July 1, wrote on Instagram.
In a message on Twitter, Nayel congratulated Tadikonda and thanked her supporters.
“This has been an AMAZING experience, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll ALL accomplish next year, because when it comes to growth and improvement, we need to stay united,” she wrote.
Tadikonda has pledged to focus on leveling the playing field in MCPS. Creating a Chromebook rental program, for instance, could help expand access to technology, she’s said.
She has a track record in student leadership, serving as vice president of the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association and on the executive board of the Maryland Association of Student Councils. She’s also co-president of MoCo EmpowerHER.
During her year on the school board, Tadikonda will be able to vote on school closings and reopenings, contracts with employee unions, attendance boundaries and the capital and operating budget for MCPS, according to a press release. The student member can’t vote on disciplinary actions related to employees, the release stated.
The role comes with a $5,000 college scholarship and an honors-level social studies credit and counts toward the 75 service learning hours students must perform in order to graduate.
Post, a senior at Sherwood High School, will graduate in May.
Bethany Rodgers can be reached at email@example.com.