Nick Asante, a junior at Richard Montgomery High School, was elected as the next student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education in an election on Wednesday.
All 88,468 middle and high school students in MCPS were eligible to vote. About 12% — 11,000 — participated in the virtual election, a significantly lower turnout than last year, when about 85% of students voted.
Asante received about 59% of the votes cast, beating his challenger, Victoria Kidder, a junior at Col. Zadok Magruder High School.
Student members of the Montgomery County school board can vote on all matters except negative personnel actions. Student members have a vote on budgets, collective bargaining agreements and boundary studies.
They receive a $5,000 college scholarship, student service learning hours and one honors-level social studies credit.
Asante will replace Nate Tinbite, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, in July.
Asante is currently Tinbite’s chief of staff, and is chief of staff for the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association. He previously served as legislative affairs director for the student government association and as president of the Montgomery County Junior Council Student Government Association.
In a student voters guide, Asante wrote that his top three priorities while in office will be:
- increasing access to technology, including rolling out a system in which all students have a Chromebook to use while at school and at home.
- closing the opportunity gap by providing free ACT and SAT preparatory courses, increasing the employment of bilingual staff members and expanding the school system’s career pathway programs.
- improving students’ experiences by implementing more vegetarian and vegan lunch options, creating a better system to report maintenance problems and putting an increased focus on project-based learning.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday night, Asante wrote: “When launching this campaign, I set out on a journey to redefine our education. Tonight, after a campaign under circumstances nobody could’ve predicted, you’ve prolonged that journey. Thank you for putting your trust in me, I hope to make you proud next year.”
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org