Following the election on November 8, the Montgomery County Board of Education is bringing on several new members. The seven member Board of Education consists of five members elected by district and two members elected at-large to four year terms.
Candidates were required to submit their statements of organization and certificates of candidacy with the county elections office back in February of 2016. They were also required to submit a filing fee of $25 and under state law, must be registered voters and residents of the district they are running for.
Incumbent Philip Kauffman lost to challenger Jeanette Dixon in the general election for the at-large seat. Both candidates had beat Mike Ibanez, Sebastian Johnson, and Gwendolyn Kimbrough in the primary held in April. According to the unofficial election results, Dixon won a clear majority of the votes in the general election; 56.29% or 208,320.
Dixon holds a Bachelor’s degree from American University and a Master’s degree from Loyola College. As a retired educator, Dixon has spent 30 years working as a student teacher, teacher, and principal. She has voiced her intentions to reduce class sizes, fully fund the Technology Initiative so all students can be competitive in the 21st century, and operate with full transparency and responsiveness by establishing a Board of Education Advisory Committee.
Shebra Evans is now the District 4 representative on the Montgomery County Board of Education. She won a 67.38% of the votes against Anjali Reed Phukan. Evans earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Tennessee State University. She has also served as vice president of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations from 2008 to 2014. Her platform included increasing outreach for family engagement and involvement, building urgency around closing the achievement gap, and also supported fully backing the Technology Initiative.
In the District 2 election, incumbent Rebecca Smondrowski was re-elected to another term. In the past, Smondrowski has worked as a legislative aide State Senator Roger Manno prior to her time on the Board. Smondrowski won a majority of 66.89% of the votes against Brandon Orman Rippeon. She currently serves as the chair of the Board’s Committee on Special Populations and a member of the Policy Management Committee.
The Board hopes to work on big issues such as long range planning and capacity issues, the adequacy of education funding, and Common Core state standards throughout this school year. The Board has released details on their plans to handle these issues on their website through a copy of their 2016-2017 legislative platform.
Article by guest contributers Randi Herath and the MCR PR Department