This article is the third part in a series of individual interviews with the three pre-Nominating Convention SMOB candidates. Candidates were interviewed by MoCo Student MCPS Editor Matthew Zipf and MoCo Student staff writer Kaamiya Hargis.
For the final interview, we met with Clarksburg High School junior Dahlia Huh in Rockville Town Center’s to talk about her platform and background. Dahlia had an energy that filled the room — her excitement never ceased throughout the course of the discussion.
HARGIS: Why are you running for SMOB?
HUH: Student advocacy has been my passion since middle school. I think that a lot of times our SMOBs promise things like “real change,” but it never actually happens, maybe because they don’t create an action plan before they run. I think that I can represent the students well. I’m not just in student government. I’m also an athlete, I love art, and I do volunteer work and other things outside of school.
ZIPF: SMOB is an intense job, so how would you manage the position along with your other activities?
HUH: SMOB would be my number one priority if elected. Already, with this campaign season, I started pre-campaigning in July. I would, of course, not do sports next year if elected. I would probably take a half-day schedule so that I can focus a lot of attention on SMOB work and Board meetings and getting to all those optional meetings so that the students are represented.
HARGIS: If elected, what specific policies would you like to work with the BOE to implement?
HUH: I definitely support Bring Your Own Device, which is a new policy where students would be able to bring their tablets and smart-phones into school. Essentially, we’d be replacing the mobile computer labs with all those laptops locked up in a cabinet. I also wholeheartedly support the switch from MSAs and HSAs to PARC assessments. This is the last year of MSAs and HSAs… [the subject matter tested isn’t] even in our curriculum. So I think that the new switch to the PARC assessment would definitely be beneficial to students.
HARGIS: Tell us a bit about your background with student government.
HUH: I started getting involved with student government in middle school, actually [as] the Vice President of Clemente Middle School’s SGA. Now at Clarksburg, I’ve been the Vice President for two years in a row. In the countywide SGA, I’m currently the Secretary for MCR, which is the countywide student government organization. I’ve also been involved with the Student Advocacy Council, which is [the SMOB’s advisory] council. I was also on John Mannes’ council last year when he was our SMOB. In addition, I’ve been a trainer for fall leadership conference and legislative session, which are the two main events of the year on the state level SGA. I definitely think it’s important to have experience on all levels.
HARGIS: Some SGA members, whether at the school-level or countywide, run for office to strengthen their résumés. Are you different from candidates like that?
The thing about SMOB is that, if you want to boost your college application, SMOB is not the way to do it, and it’s definitely not why I’m running. It’s a lot of personal sacrifice to miss that much school — last year, our former SMOB John Mannes was only in school 40 percent of the time. You don’t get to spend time with friends, and you sometimes spend all day in board meetings. You really have to love student advocacy to get involved, and I feel like all of our past SMOBs, me included, we just love student advocacy to the point that we want to make those sacrifices to run for SMOB.
ZIPF: If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Energetic, meticulous, and focused — I definitely don’t like to see things halfway finished. When I start something, I see it through.
[End of interview.]
Our interview with Huh proved her to be a candidate with legitimate passion and drive; her goals are clearly outlined and she is relentless in pursuing them. Regardless of the election results, Huh will doubtless continue her mission in advocating for students.
With three students in the running for SMOB, one candidate will not make it through the Nominating Convention and into the general elections, in which all MCPS middle and high school students vote.