CHS Observer Finds out what it is like to be SMOB

Junior Student Member of the Board Eric Guerci.

Photo Courtesy of Eric Guerci.

Junior Student Member of the Board Eric Guerci.

By Sarah O'Brien, Production Editor

With elections for the Student Member of the Board (SMOB) approaching in the spring, many students are wondering what the jobs of SMOB are. The Observer interviewed current SMOB Eric Guerci to find out what it’s like to be SMOB.

Guerci has been focusing on making sure the students know and understand what is going on in the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system, with bi-weekly videos called the “SMOB minute” being played on our very own Daily Dose as well as releasing flyers every quarter. He has the difficult task of representing 202 schools with a total of more than 156,000 students.

“This position is a full member of the Board of Education which means I not only attend Board of Education meetings, but also have a voice and vote on the issues that affect our schools and fellow students,” Guerci said. “In addition to board meetings, I also serve on the Board’s Policy Management Committee and participate in community engagement sessions and host student town halls.”

According to Guerci, his main goal is to empower the MCPS student body, with his current goals of improving school lunches, fighting for middle schoolers to be able to use cell phones during lunch and implementing a “Bring Your Own Device” policy.

Guerci is adamant about making sure students and staff know what is going on at these board meetings because the decisions affect the students directly in their everyday life.

“It is important for students to understand what that impact will be for them,” Guerci said. “When students are engaged in the Board processes, they have increased opportunity to take their education into their own hands and navigate a system which can be unfathomably large at times.”

According to Guerci, since the Board of Education is a political bureaucratic office, the political dynamic is present which can be difficult at times for him. With so many people to represent, it is difficult to navigate the enormous bureaucracy.

However, the job is rewarding in political aspects as well as social.

“My favorite part of being SMOB is going out and speaking with students,” Guerci said. “Students of all walks of life inspire me to continue to advocate for them on the Board table as they tell me their stories, ideas, concerns, and suggestions.”

Students can always get involved with the board by reaching out to [email protected], and help board members like Guerci figure out what is important to the students in MCPS.

“I encourage students to reach out to Board members to hear their opinions on various issues, and also to express the student voice on these issues.” Guerci said. “It is always important to ensure that the Board is centering discussions on what is best for students!”