Jay Guan, left, and Steve Solomon, right. Credit: Photos via Jay Guan and Steve Solomon

Two more candidates filed this week for the open at-large seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

On Monday, Jay Guan, a 33-year-old aerospace engineer from Clarksburg, joined the race for the four-year term.

On Tuesday, Steve Solomon joined the race, bringing the total number of candidates to four.

Other candidates are Cameron Rhode and Pavel Sukhobok.

The at-large seat is held by Jeanette Dixon, who will not run for re-election.

In an email Tuesday morning, Guan said he is a father of a 4-year-old and holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of California, San Diego. He holds a master’s degree in the same field from Johns Hopkins University.


Guan has not run for elected office before. He has served on several Montgomery County Public Schools advisory committees helping guide decisions affecting English language learners and assessments. He currently serves as a member of the Asian Pacific American Student Achievement Action Group.

Guan is also a volunteer for the Chinese American Parent Association, Montgomery County, a nonprofit that advocates for immigrant Chinese-American families. He is a board member of the Clarksburg Village Community Association, a homeowners’ association.

Solomon could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday. But, according to his website, he is a lifelong Montgomery County resident.


Solomon is a radio host and producer, and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland. He lost a bid for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council in 2018.

His website lists priorities ranging from revising the school district’s “policy on snow days” to “keeping schools local” and ensuring all schools have basic services such as heat and functioning equipment.

“I believe that students and parents want their board members to give them real answers and solutions to their problems,” Solomon’s website says. “I want to do things that are in the best interest of all the students in our schools.”


Guan wrote in his email he is running for school board “because I believe the future is now.”

He wrote that the “fourth industrial revolution is upon us,” and it’s important to ensure all students provide access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math curriculum (STEAM).

“I also believe that ALL of our kids are capable of academic excellence, and it takes a ‘village’ to unlock their potential,” Guan wrote. “This village comes from full integration and engagement between family, school and community.”


Guan said his major focuses on the board would be to expand access to STEAM curriculum, “strengthen community bonds and family engagement” and strengthen MCPS transparency and accountability.

School board members receive a $25,000 annual salary, aside from the board president, who receives $29,000.
The primary election is April 28, and the general election is Nov. 3.

The District 2 and District 4 seats on the board are also up for re-election this year. As of Tuesday afternoon, only current District 2 member Rebecca Smondrowski and District 4 member Shebra Evans had filed as candidates for those seats.


Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com