The Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils (CRASC) announced on April 2, 2023, that three 11th-grade students from Anne Arundel County high schools have been selected as finalists for the 2023-2024 Student Member on the Board of Education.
Out of a field of five applicants, the finalists are Indu Bodala from Glen Burnie High School, Eric Lin from Severna Park High School, and Taryn Reinhart from Annapolis High School. The winner of the election will serve as the student member on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education during their senior year of high school and will receive an $8,000 college scholarship.
CRASC sponsors the Student Member on the Board of Education (SMOB) election, and the Governor of Maryland appoints the student member. The Anne Arundel County student member is the only one in the nation on a local Board of Education with full voting rights.
To determine the winner, the finalists will participate in a debate, which will be broadcasted live on AACPS’ YouTube channel at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. CRASC delegates will then vote for the candidate they believe is the most qualified for the position in late April.
The student member of the Board of Education plays an important role in representing the interests of students in the county. The student member provides a student perspective on educational policies and decisions that affect the students of Anne Arundel County.
The current student member, Jason Wu, spoke about the significance of the position. Wu said, “The student member of the Board of Education has a unique opportunity to be the voice of over 80,000 students in Anne Arundel County. It is essential that the student member has the knowledge, leadership skills, and passion to advocate for students’ best interests.”
Indu Bodala, one of the finalists, expressed her excitement about the opportunity to run for the position. “I am thrilled to be a finalist for the student member on the Board of Education. I am passionate about advocating for student needs and believe that I can make a positive impact on the education system in Anne Arundel County,” Bodala said.
The other finalists, Eric Lin and Taryn Reinhart, also expressed their enthusiasm for the opportunity to represent the students of Anne Arundel County on the Board of Education.
The SMOB election has been a tradition in Anne Arundel County since 1974. Over the years, the student members have advocated for student interests on a wide range of issues, including school safety, mental health, and curriculum reform.
The winner of the election will join the Anne Arundel County Board of Education in July 2023, serving a one-year term during their senior year of high school.
As the finalists prepare for the debate and CRASC delegates prepare to cast their votes, the students of Anne Arundel County wait with anticipation to see who will become their next Student Member on the Board of Education.