by Lexi Matthews ’18
With the SMOB nominating convention fast approaching, candidates for the 2018-2019 school year have launched full swing into the campaigning process. Candidate Ananya Tadikonda, a junior from Richard Montgomery, is no different, having taken her campaign to Sherwood on February 15 to meet with Sherwood SGA and talk policy with potential voters.
Tadikonda, who currently serves as vice president of Montgomery County Region
al Student Government, revealed that her main platform focuses heavily on combating the opportunity gap, an issue current SMOB Matt Post has been extremely vocal about during his term.
“Technology is one of the major ways I want to shorten the gap. By implementing a rental program for chromebooks so students can take them home overnight and bring them back, students will get the opportunity to access things like Google Slides and Google Docs at home which are really fundamental to our modern education. Having a student have to go to a library, which isn’t open all the time, definitely creates a socioeconomic barrier for students,” said Tadikonda.
Tadikonda also advocates for new policies that will require the Board of Education to pay for up to three AP exams for each student, following in the footsteps of the Prince George’s County School System. She believes this will have long lasting impacts on the academic futures of students, as it can shorten the amount of time a student will have to spend paying for college down the road.
Cultural competency training for staff is another big concern for Tadikonda. “Our staff is 70 percent white. Our county is 70 percent non-white. Implicit bias and systemic racism can only be combatted if we train staff on how to equitably treat every student.”
Because of her position in MCR, Tadikonda believes she has the extensive experience required to be comprehensive in these issues and become an effective SMOB. “I’ve worked past SMOBs and board members, I have experience voicing the concerns of our students and have seen tangible change that can come from system because of impact of those voices. At the same time, I still see what hasn’t happened yet, and why it’s important that we continue to to work to serve all of our students equitably.”
Along with 16 other candidates, Tadikonda will take to the stage at Watkins Mill on February 21 to further elaborate her positions at the SMOB nominating convention.