Silver Chips Online

Blair junior selected as SMOB candidate

Will Bucher to face Walter Johnson's Moskowitz in April 25 election

By Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor
March 1, 2007
Blair junior Will Bucher is one of two candidates in the countywide Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) election to be held in April. Student delegates from Montgomery County high schools and middle schools selected Bucher and Walter Johnson junior Ben Moskowitz for the SMOB candidacy at the 30th SMOB nominating convention this afternoon.

The three preliminary candidates - Bucher, Moskowitz and Blake junior Chris Yates - opened the convention with prepared speeches outlining their respective platforms. Bucher's main platform focused on direct student action in response to unsatisfactory school policies, as opposed to empty negotiations between students and staff. Moskowitz's extended platform included creating a teacher evaluation system similar to that of Montgomery College and adding driver's ed to the MCPS curriculum while Yates' platform included smaller class sizes and expanding the SMOB's voting rights.

Blair senior Terence McPherson, president of the Montgomery County Region (MCR) of the Maryland Association of Student Councils, hosted a closed question and answer session with the candidates. Candidates answered questions on topics pre-selected by the MCR Special Election Committee, including diversity in MCPS. Bucher said that while MCPS is one of the highest-testing counties in the nation, county schools do not do enough to minimize the discrepancy between the suspension of black students and that of white students.

The closed question and answer session was then expanded into a forum, with student delegates free to ask the candidates questions.

Bucher views Moskowitz as good competition and hopes to win over Yates' supporters. "I think now that Chris Yates [is not running]," he said, "I can begin appealing to a voting bloc that was previously unavailable to me."

Bucher believes his participation in extracurricular activities gives him an insight into the MCPS educational system that he will bring with him to the Board of Education if elected. He is confident in his chances to become Blair's fourth SMOB, joining John Foubert (SMOB 1985-1986), Shervin Pishevar (1991-1992) and Sebastian Johnson (2005-2006). "I am confident that I will make it to the boardroom," he said.

Election day is April 25 for all MCPS high school students.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7278