On November 8, voters across Montgomery County will choose their representative in District 2 for the Board of Education. District 2 includes rural areas of Montgomery County such as Barnesville and Hyattstown as well as urban regions such as Germantown and Clarksburg. Incumbent Rebecca Smondrowski and challenger Brandon Orman Rippeon comprise the ballot.
A four-year veteran Board member, Smondrowski has received official endorsements from the Washington Post and the Montgomery County Education Association, as well as Student Member of the Board Eric Guerci. She advocates for increased implementation of ESOL and special education in an effort to individualize each student’s learning experience.
In addition to serving as a Board Member of Montgomery County Public Libraries, Rippeon is a community banker and financial trustee. A lifelong county resident, his beliefs and policies include increasing budget transparency and expanding internships and vocational training in the school system.
On the issue of the growing achievement gap, Rippeon stressed a need to maintain standards. In a recent interview with Vote411, he said, “MCPS must focus on reading comprehension and mathematics… [and] stop lowering standards and requirements.” Smondrowski told the same publication, “We need a renewed and holistic focus of resources on the individual child’s needs. We need motivated teachers and this will take training and funding and [work] in partnership with our county agencies.”
In a Facebook post, SMOB Eric Guerci endorsed Rebecca Smondrowski for the District 2 seat. Explaining his support for Smondrowski, Guerci said, “ I think that, as with any Board member, it is important to understand the role, know the key players, and to be strategic about advocating to ensure that we are able to make a difference on behalf of all 159,000 of our students.”
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Tatum Shirley of Walter Johnson High School.