Guerci Re-elected as SMOB


Junior Eric Guerci from Bethesda Chevy Chase (BCC) HS will continue in his position as the Student Member of the Board (SMOB) for the 2016-17 school year. Guerci earned 54 percent of votes from approximately 80,000 MCPS students who voted April 27.

The MCPS Board of Education consists of nine members, one of whom is the SMOB, who can vote on all matters except those concerning negative personnel. Previously, the SMOB could not vote on issues regarding school closures or budgeting. However, after a 39-4 Senate vote in the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly, SMOB can now take part in these votes. Guerci’s second term begins July 1, the same date the new legislation is scheduled to take effect.

Instead of a paycheck, SMOB receives a $5,000 scholarship, about 20% of what the other Board members make, for college along with an honors social studies credit and SSL hours. In addition, the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Associations (MCR/SGA) provides leadership opportunities and a chance to be active in one’s community.

“It’s also taught me personally how to balance some certain things, prioritize certain things, always putting students first,” Guerci said. “Social, family obligations, balancing schoolwork and Board work has certainly been a challenge, but it is something I’ve adjusted to this year.”

SGA/MCR also gives MCPS students a voice in how their schools function. SMOB is a physical student vote on the Board that allows for student input to be made in Montgomery County; Guerci has already accomplished eliminating final exams for both middle and high schools, and will implement end-of-unit tasks and assessments starting next year.

“It’s important to give students a voice in the decisions being decisions made,” SGA sponsor Katherine Gross said. “The Board of Education makes decisions that directly impact the students and therefore having someone who is affected on the board will help give a different perspective.”

This upcoming school year, Guerci is determined to increase Student Town Halls and student input on the Board. Along with the help of MCPS, he plans to smoothly incorporate the new grading system into schools to help students with the new transition.

Another major difference from current final exams is that the scored assessments will be allowed to go home, and will not have to be returned to the teacher after a classroom review,” Associate Superintendent Dr. Erick Lang said. “Technology systems are already being tested so that this change can be seamless for students, teachers, and parents next year.”