MCPS votes for new SMOB


Courtesy of Nate Tinbite

Tinbite visits classes throughout WCHS to talk about policies he hopes to inplement if elected as the next SMOB.

By Sophie Liss, Senior Writer

Junior Nate Tinbite of Kennedy High School was elected to be the 42nd Student Member of the Board (SMOB) April 24.

The SMOB provides a connection between MCPS students and the Montgomery County Board of Education by representing students’ issues at board meetings. Sophomores and juniors are eligible to run for SMOB, and all MCPS students in grades 6-12 are eligible to vote for the SMOB.

“My victory of almost three-fourths of the vote shows that students got my message and are willing to work with me to make the county a better place,” Tinbite said.

Aside from interest in becoming the SMOB, Tinbite was a cadet in his school’s NJROTC (Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) and ran cross country. This year, he serves as the president for county-wide SGA and was a founding member of MoCo for Change.

“In the past, I had little interest in countywide advocacy but fought for ESOL programs at my school,” Tinbite said. “[Former SMOB] Eric Guerci spoke to our students and I didn’t know what SMOB was but I knew it could be an avenue to fight for ESOL students at my school. That’s where I got started and since then I’ve been working hard in my advocacy to fight for everyone.”

Tinbite will work to maintain effective communication between the MCPS Board of Education and students, which is a central part of the SMOB position.

“I will assemble a whole team of students to help me [with communication],” Tinbite said. “I’ll bring together groups and clubs to set up town halls during the school day to make sure that my message is transparent. I will consistently make sure my videos are played, get a letter out to all students at the beginning of the year and I’ll have monthly/biweekly Instagram lives and Q &A’s. I want to be more of a student and less of a politician.”

According to Tinbite, his main goals as SMOB include bridging socio-economic divides, addressing bullying and harassment on a countywide level and evening the playing field for students across the county by making sure all schools are equal in terms of funding and programs.

“My goal is to mobilize dozens of students along with Moco4Change more than ever before and bring these students to the Board,” Tinbite said. “That hasn’t been done in the past on this level, but we are going to mobilize students.”