2021 | Schools

New student school board member sworn in

Plus: Teacher of the Year receives new car; School board appoints three to ethics panel

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New student school board member sworn in

Hana O’Looney was sworn in on Thursday as the 44th student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

O’Looney, a rising senior at Richard Montgomery High School, replaced Nick Asante, who recently graduated from Richard Montgomery.

She will serve a one-year term. About 33,000 middle and high school students across the county voted in the April election.

O’Looney, the vice president of the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association, received about 78% of all votes. Her challenger, Henry Kaye, received about 21%. Kaye is also a rising senior at Richard Montgomery.

O’Looney has also served as president of the Montgomery County Junior Councils and the countywide middle school student government. She has been on several MCPS committees addressing testing and student wellness.

In recent years, she successfully advocated for MCPS to provide free menstrual hygiene products in student bathrooms.

In her candidate profile, O’Looney wrote that she decided to run for the school board position because she has “seen the huge disparities in educational opportunities that are given to students.”

The student member of the school board has full voting rights, except on negative personnel actions. They are not paid, but receive a $5,000 college scholarship, student service learning hours, and an honors-level social studies credit.

Teacher of the Year receives new car

Joseph Bostic Jr., who was named the MCPS Teacher of the Year in April recently received a new car from Fitzgerald Auto Mall in Rockville.

Bostic is a math content specialist and eighth-grade team leader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Germantown. He is a candidate for state Teacher of the Year, which is chosen from among the winners from each county and Baltimore City.

The state award will be announced Oct. 7.

Bostic, described as “hard working, relentless and creative,” recently developed an “action plan” that reduced student truancy at his school from 33% to 25%, according to MCPS.

“To be honest, I’ve been riding around for a year without a vehicle,” Bostic said in a video posted to the MCPS website. “So to have a vehicle now is just a testament to the work, the craft that we all do as teachers. For me, I’ll cherish this moment forever.”

School board appoints three to ethics panel

The Montgomery County Board of Education on Tuesday appointed three people to fill vacancies on its ethics panel.

The people appointed were David Curren, Daniel Fisher and Carrie Mitchell. Information about them was not provided in school board documents or during Tuesday’s meeting.

The ethics panel has five members. The new members will each serve a three-year term, which began Thursday.

The panel oversees the application of the school board’s ethics policy, conducts hearings on ethics complaints filed against the school system and approves financial disclosure forms. The panel meets once per year.

School board members, their spouses and school district employees can’t serve on the ethics panel.