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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Olney resident Matthew Post, a junior at Sherwood High School, knows that his newly elected position as the student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education is “no small commitment.”
That is why the decision to run was not an easy one to make.
“But I thought I could make the most impact by helping to craft legislation in addition to advocating for the student body,” he said.
He made the decision to run last summer and announced his candidacy on Jan. 11. He recently won the election to serve for the 2017-2018 school year.
All secondary school students were eligible to vote in the election and 85.4 percent cast ballots. Post received 62.7 percent of the vote and his opponent, Alexander Abrosimov, a junior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, received 37.3 percent.
Post’s interest in student government began while in eighth grade at William H. Farquhar Middle School when he applied for the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association.
He joined as a public relations deputy, and then became the public relations director. He is now the organization’s vice president, working on legislation and state policy.
Post has also served as the chief of staff for the Student Member of the Board of Education Advisory Council for the past two years.
As part of his campaign, Post visited many middle and high schools to gain a holistic view of the diverse perspective of Montgomery County, talking to students to learn what was important to them.
“It was a challenging, grueling process, but so is being a board member,” he said. “Campaigning was the most fulfilling experience of my entire life. After hearing the challenges, hopes and aspirations of the student body, I am determined to create a better future for all of us.”
He is looking forward to his term beginning on July 1.
His responsibilities include attending two board meetings a month plus optional meetings and visiting two schools each week to bring the student voice to the table.
“It is pretty much a full-time job,” Post said. “I am willing to put in the work to do my part in moving the county forward.”
The student member is a voting member of the Board of Education. Because of legislation passed during the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the student member can now vote on matters related to collective bargaining, capital and operating budgets, and school closings, re-openings and boundaries.
The student cannot vote on negative personnel actions.
The position is not paid, but receives a $5,000 college scholarship, Student Service Learning hours, and one honors-level social studies credit.
Post will replace the current student member of the board, Eric Guerci, a graduating senior from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
Post said he is interested in pursuing a career in education.
“There are educators on both sides of my family going way back,” he said. “Education is a great fundamental public service.”
Post is also an award-wining video producer, having been recognized for his work in several national competitions, including winning the grand prize in last year’s ToyotaTeenDrive365 Video Challenge.
Many of his award-winning videos have been based on education-related issues.
“I don’t think these pursuits are unrelated,” he said. “I hope to use my video skills to deliver messages to students and to empower our student body.”
Terri Hogan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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