Student Member of the Board - Election Process

SMOB Election Results

Congratulations to Hana O’Looney, who has been elected the student member of the board for the 2021-2022 school year! Ms. O’Looney’s term begins on July 1, 2021.

On April 23, 2021, at 3:50 p.m., the election for the forty-fourth Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) was certified. Ms. Hana O’Looney, rising Grade 12 student, Richard Montgomery High School, was elected as the student member of the Board of Education for the 2021‒2022 school year. Ms. O’Looney defeated Mr. Kaye, a rising Grade 12 student at Richard Montgomery High School.

Of the students eligible to vote, 37.51 percent voted, for a total of 32,917 votes. All secondary students from high schools, middle schools, alternative programs, early college programs, Rock Terrace School, and secondary school students at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA) were informed about the election process. This SMOB election was held remotely in an effort to avail the ballot to all students, regardless of their learning location during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of students eligible to vote is based on the April 21, 2021, Montgomery County Public Schools secondary school student enrollment data submitted to VoteNet, the organization contracted to run the election.

Vote summary
Students eligible to vote: 87,751
Students voting: 32,917 (37.51 percent)

Candidate summary
Mr. Henry J. Kaye: 7,018 (21.32 percent)
Ms. Hana R. O’Looney: 25,781 (78.32 percent)
There were 118 blank ballots cast. A blank ballot indicates that the student exercised the student’s right to vote; however, the student did not vote for either candidate.

SMOB Election Results by School

SMOB 101 Event

MCR hosted the SMOB 101 event on November 19, 2020. During this event, students who attended learned about what the SMOB is, the role and work of the SMOB, how to become a SMOB candidate and the election process. Former SMOBs Matt Post, Ananya Tadikonda and Nate Tinbite and former SMOB finalists Zoe Tishaev and Vicky Kidder were also in attendance to share their journey.


Meet the Candidates

Two candidates for the 44th SMOB of the Montgomery County Board of Education were selected by students at the February 17th nominating convention. Secondary students will cast their votes for next year’s SMOB onThursday, April 22 - Friday April 23, 2021. Voting will take place in English or ESOL classes during that 2-day window. To learn more about each candidate, read the official MCPS SMOB Candidate Profiles.


Mr. Henry Kaye
Junior at Richard Montgomery High School


Ms. Hana O'Looney
Junior at Richard Montgomery High School


Candidate and Election Timeline

SMOB Candidate Nomination Filing January 4-28, 2021
  • SMOB candidate nomination filing closes on January 28, 2021 at 5 pm.
  • Candidate nomination form can be found in the SMOB Election Protocols (pages 26-27).
  • Completed forms should be scanned and emailed to Mrs. Shella Cherry, Director, Student Leadership & Extracurricular Activities at:
Mandatory SMOB Candidate Meeting January 28, 2021
  • Will be held virtually from 6-7:30 pm.
  • Meeting information will be sent to all approved candidates.
  • Candidates meet with Special Elections Committee and the current SMOB to review the election process, protocols and expectations, and the job and current work of the SMOB.
  • The original nomination form must be postmarked by January 28, 2021 and mailed to:
    Montgomery County Public Schools
    Special Elections Committee
    c/o Mrs. Shella Cherry, Director, Student Leadership & Extracurricular Activities
    850 Hungerford Drive, Room 269
    Rockville, MD 20850 
SMOB Candidate Profiles Due Date February 5, 2021
  • SMOB candidate profiles should be emailed to Mrs. Shella Cherry, Director, Student Leadership & Extracurricular Activities at: by 5:00 pm to be included to in the SMOB Nominating Convention Candidate Profiles document.
  • SMOB candidate profiles must include:
  1. Student name, grade, school
  2. Picture
  3. Answers to 3 questions shared at the January 28, 2021 mandatory SMOB candidate meeting 
Mandatory SMOB Candidate Nomination Convention Review Meeting February 11, 2021, 4-7 pm
  • Will be held virtually from 6-7:30 pm.
  • SMOB candidates submit the following for review at this meeting:
  1. Copies of stickers, posters, flyers that will be handed out at the Nominating Convention
  2. Financial report (page 31 of the SMOB Election Protocols)
  3. Names and permission forms of the 5 members of the campaign team
  4. Presentation slides for Nominating Convention speech
  5. Speech talking points
SMOB Nominating Convention
February 17, 2021
(Snow date: February 24)
  • Zoom Webinar
  • SMOB Candidates may arrive to the Zoom webinar as early as 8:30 am, but the event may not begin until 9:00 am. 
"Meet the Candidates" Experience TBD
  • SMOB finalists participate in a recorded Meet the Candidates experience to include a question and answer component that all secondary students will view. 
SMOB Candidate Nomination Filing January 4-28, 2021
  • Nomination Forms should be scanned and emailed to Mrs. Shella Cherry, Director, Student Leadership & Extracurricular Activities at: by January 28, 2021 at 5 pm.
SMOB Nominating Convention
February 17, 2021
(Snow date: February 24)
  • Virtual Experience through MCPS Zoom Webinar
Early Election Day April 15, 2021
  • Only schools with extreme hardships will be approved to host their elections on early election day (ex. Outdoor Education).
  • School SGA advisors and administration must request this date in writing to Mrs. Shella Cherry, Director, Student Leadership & Extracurricular Activities via email: by April 1, 2021.
  • Early Election Day will not be held in the event of distance learning and an online election.
Election Day April 22-23, 2021
  • Election polls open at 7:30 am and close at 3:30 pm.
  • Results will be shared with finalists and made public at 5:30 pm.
  • In the event of distance learning and an online election, the election window may be extended and elections results should be made public after 8:00 pm.
SMOB Swearing-In Ceremony July 1, 2021  

Overview of Election Process

The following is the usual sequence of events for the election of the student member of the Board of Education:

May – September

The MCR president designates the election administrator who chairs the special elections committee.

October – December

Membership for the special election committee is solicited. All MCPS students in middle school through grade 12 are eligible to be members of the committee. Each high school should have at least one student serving on the committee.


An informational meeting is conducted for students interested in learning more about the position of SMOB. Advertising and application materials are sent to high schools.

Students who are residents of Montgomery County, are regularly enrolled in a Montgomery County public school, and are either sophomores or juniors are eligible to run for SMOB. Filing forms are available through local student government organizations, the Student Leadership Unit, or on the Web. Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. The student leadership coordinator signs as the administrator after verifying the student's grade and enrollment in MCPS. Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. There is a mandatory candidates' meeting held at the end of January or beginning of February.

February – March

There is a selection/election of nominating convention delegates by local schools. If more than two SMOB candidates file, a convention is convened. Otherwise, half day town meetings are held. Either way, delegate selection/elections may be necessary.

Nominating Convention: During the nominating convention, there are two sets of balloting. The primary ballot narrows the field to half of the candidates. The second, preferential ballot, selects the final two candidates. If there are four or fewer candidates, only one ballot is needed.


Training sessions for local school election officials are conducted as needed (optional attendance). Schools can train student election officials by reviewing the movies and documents listed above.

General Election takes place on the last Wednesday of the month and every secondary student in grades 6–12 in MCPS is eligible to vote following all proper election protocols. There is also an "early voting" day approximately 5–6 days before the election to allow for students who will not be in school on election day (ex: 6th grade outdoor education).

Local student government support, assistance, and cooperation is needed to assure the success of the election each year.

Attention to the following is required:

  • Assuring that students are aware of the filing period, who is eligible to file for office, and who may nominate candidates.
  • Scheduling and administering the timely election of nominating convention/town meeting delegates.
  • Educating the voting population - airing the TV show, "Meet the Candidates," to all students and distributing the voters guide in multiple languages.
  • Conducting the election following all protocols on election day.


MCR Special Elections Committee

Middle and high school students are needed to serve on the Special Elections Committee. This committee handles the logistical details for running the election of the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB), a public official. Evening meetings run October – May.

It is imperative that the SEC has representation from EVERY high school and middle school representation is HIGHLY encouraged. Schools could form their own committee for running the SMOB election and have these students rotate attendance at the county meetings. This would be a great way to get a head start on your school’s election participation and serve on the SEC. This important committee handles the election logistics of a public official and is one of the few real civic educational opportunities in which students participate. Please actively recruit students at your school to join the SEC! Student service learning hours are applicable.