Johnson will represent constituents to the board
Silver Chips Online offers its full support to Sebastian Johnson in the upcoming Student Member of the Board (SMOB) election. Blair junior Johnson is campaigning against Kennedy junior Nadia Sicard for student votes on April 27, the election date.
Elected SMOBs are students' voice and representation to the School Board. These candidates are supposed to characterize the opinions and needs of their constituents. Silver Chips Online feels that of the two contenders, Johnson best represents the students of Blair and the rest of MCPS and is the stronger of the two candidates.
Although only 16, Johnson has an extensive resume of leadership positions and has long been dedicated to school politics. He served as the Student Government Association's (SGA) president at Takoma Park Middle School in eighth grade and as Blair's first junior SGA president. As president of Blair's SGA, Johnson has managed to steadily improve the county's largest high school and please a wide variety of constituents. His dealings with such a diverse school clearly give him a distinct advantage over Sicard.
Perhaps the most refreshing aspect about Johnson is his clear-cut stance on important issues and his direct speech. Johnson is well aware that many students feel SMOBs are rarely accessible to students after the election. "Current efforts by the SMOB to communicate with students, the biggest being the Student Advisory Committee, have had mixed success," Johnson writes in his official profile. "I hope to better communicate with students." His concession that SMOBs have not always fulfilled their duties in the past demonstrates Johnson's maturity and thorough understanding of his prospective office. His interest in revitalizing the role of the SMOB station illustrates his decisiveness and qualities as a leader. Students can rest assured that Johnson will be an honest and influential representative.
Johnson has voiced strong opinions regarding issues pressing to Blair. Most importantly, he supports more funding for Red Zone schools like Blair. As a Blazer, he is well versed on the challenges faced by students in down county schools and would be able to adequately inform the board on the quality of education he has received.
One of the most urgent issues in the county is the achievement gap. The staggering difference between the accomplishments of whites and Asians versus blacks and Hispanics on standardized tests has been the cause of consternation in schools such as Blair. Johnson strongly believes in encouraging more minority students to enroll in Honors and Gifted and Talented (GT) classes throughout middle school and high school to bolster minority achievement and to even the playing field between MCPS students.
Johnson's realistic outlook on his prospective role as SMOB is refreshing. Although he supports exempting students from exams who obtain an A for both quarters, Johnson says he wants to spend his time on more pressing issues. He is well aware of the School Board's opposition to double-A exemption and feels his time and power would be better put to use on issues like minority achievement, where he feels he can make a definite and positive impact.
To view the profiles of both candidates, click here. Voting is on April 26 and 27.
Grace Harter. Grace Harter is currently a CAP senior at Blair. She loves anything British, books, music, movies and of course Silver Chips Online. She'd like to close with a quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that is especially profound (and makes reference to her ultimate favorite … More »