Frederick High School junior Paige Tolbard will be a senior by the time she begins her term as the next student member to the Board of Education of Frederick County, July 1. Until then she will shadow the Board’s current student member, Will Anderson.
Frederick County middle and high school students participated in an online voting process to elect the 2018-2019 student Board member. This was the seventh year the student member was elected by online voting. Paige received the most votes, running against two other candidates.
In addition to an application that the Frederick County Association of Student Councils (FCASC) Executive Board and SGA advisors reviewed, each candidate answered questions in a Town Hall format that FCPS televised and posted online. Each also submitted a one-page online platform statement. Then nominees participated in a Candidate Forum, answering moderator questions; FCPS also televised this event and posted it to YouTube.
Middle and high school students participated in online voting from January 18-February 2 to determine which candidate the schools’ Student Government Association (SGA) representatives would support in the General Assembly, postponed due to inclement weather on February 8 until February 15. Student enrollment determines a school’s number of representative delegates. When Paige won the FCASC General Assembly election, the Assembly submitted her name for approval to the Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent to serve a year-long term, beginning in July 2018.
The role of the student member of the Board (SMOB) is to bring a student viewpoint on educational issues to BOE meetings. The function is not to represent any particular special-interest group of students on an issue, but rather to respect the diversity of students’ points of view, to improve communication between the student body, staff and BOE members and to inform students of policies and decisions executed by the BOE.
In her platform, Paige wrote that she “wants to make it easier for students to reach out to the SMOB via Google forms, Twitter and Instagram polls and other social media outlets the average student uses.” According to her website, she intends to use Spanish and other commonly spoken languages so that more students can share their thoughts with her and she can better represent them. Her other priorities are to create a career fair to show students that college is not their only option after high school, to organize a countywide multicultural night, to advocate for less testing, to improve English-learning courses and to better prepare students with life skills such as understanding insurance and taxes.
Active in the Student Government Association, National Honors Society, National English Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, Model UN, Journalism Club, Badminton Club, varsity indoor and outdoor track, softball and volleyball, Paige holds the school shot put record and has also earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. She has served as Congressional Aide for Congressman Carter from GA, a “grill scout” at the Frederick Keys Stadium and works as a part-time receptionist. She maintains a 3.9 (4.5 weighted) grade-point average.
For additional information about the Student Member of the Board role and election process, please contact FCPS Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Colleen Bernard, 301-644-5265 or Colleen.Bernard@fcps.org. To see Paige’s photo, full platform and additional information, please visit: http://www.fcps.org/boe/smob-nominees.