MCPS welcomes all female members in historic moment this December
With seven members competing for four open spots on the board in the Nov. 6 election, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will experience one definitive, historic change. For the first time ever, the Board of Education will be entirely composed of female members, including female Student Member of the Board (SMOB), Ananya Tadikonda.
This change occurred as the only male member of the board, President Michael Durso, decided not to run for reelection. In addition, the results from the June primaries earlier this year revealed seven female candidates will be running to earn one of the four available spots on the board, two of which are incumbents.
The candidates in this year's race are Julie Reiley (At-Large), Karla Silvestre (At-Large), Maria Blaeuer (District 1), Judy Docca (District 1), Lynn Amano (District 3), Patricia O’Neill (District 3), and Brenda Wolff (District 5).
According to the Washington Post , Montgomery County's Board of Education began in 1817. The board originally consisted of nine male members until the first female representative, A. Dawson Trumble, served a five-year term that led to an increase in female members over the course of time.
At-Large member Jeanette Dixon expressed her excitement that the new all-female board will serve as an example to younger students.
"The fact that all of [the members] will be women is a testament to the leadership skills of women and that it will be a good example for not only for young women but for young men as well, that women are great leaders and can do well," Dixon said.
SMOB Ananya Tadikonda agrees with Dixon, stating that the change in members may inspire young women to realize their own potential.
"It's a great statement for students who see that the entire board of elected officials is all women in the code of conduct," Tadikonda commented. "I think it's a huge statement as to what women are capable of and the fact that female leadership is possible."
Despite the new set of members, several board members do not believe the board's decisions will be majorly impacted. Second District member Rebecca Smondrowski conveyed her appreciation with how the board currently operates in ensuring decisions affect all students equally across the county.
"I really feel like the board does a very good job of trying to equally represent all of our students, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. So I can't imagine that there's going to be that much of a difference, " Smondrowski stated.
Some Blazers believe that this female perspective will strengthen or shift the discussion to specific health and education issues.
"I think women [members] would probably have more respect towards closing the achievement gap and sexual health, as in stopping teen pregnancies", junior Meg Miller commented.
Regardless of the outcomes, members look forward to collaborating with a new team of members to solve education issues for MCPS students.
Reethi Padmanabhan. More »