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Candidates for Student Member of the Board

The SMOB is arguably the most visible and prominent student leadership position in the county. They attend the meetings of the Washington County Board of Education, are given a recorded opinion, and are a vital outlet between the students and policymakers. Learn more about our 2023 candidates below.



Dominic Runfola is a junior at South Hagerstown high school, currently serving as an at-large member of the  board.


Graham Synder

Graham is a junior at North Hagerstown high school currently serving as a member of a student-led non-profit EMPOWERR.

Dominic Runfola

My name is Dominic Runfola, and I am running to be your next Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB). Currently, I am a Junior at South Hagerstown High School. I am a part of the National Honors Society, the Academic Leadership Academy, which is the magnet program at South, and Debate Club. Outside of school, I am on the Varsity Tennis Team and am a Candidate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Student Visionaries of the Year fundraising campaign. Within the broad umbrella of Student Government, I am an At- Large Member on the Board of Student Leaders (BOSL) and the South Hagerstown High School SGA president. I have had many experiences within these roles that have led me to this point, including testifying in front of the Board of Education, serving on the Convention Host Staff, and serving as WCASC Finance Committee Chair.


 These experiences have shown me the incredible power students have to enact meaningful change and have led me to run for SMOB. If elected, I plan to continue the legacy of those before me in bettering the county for the entirety of the student body by listening to you and persistently advocating for the betterment of the Washington County Public School System. 


One of the ways I'd like to make the SMOB position more representative is by restarting the MOB AdvisoryCouncil so that, as SMOB, I will have a greater range of viewpoints, allowing me to advocate for the best outcomes for the student body. In turn, it would allow and encourage students to have a voice and be easily accessible at their schools through one of these members. Moreover, I would also like to increase the amount of SMOB to school contact; only a fraction of the full picture can be obtained through General Assemblies. I would like to personally sit in on day-to-day, school-level Student Government proceedings at schools across the county from time to time to hear their concerns in a setting familiar to them. 


On the policy level, I want to ensure that the Maryland Blueprint rollout includes all students from Pre-K - 12 and does not fall short on any one group, and we do not fall into the trap that some counties have of focusing only on the youngest members of the education system. Further, I would like to continue the efforts made by the SMOBs before me, including broader mental health programs and voting rights. I have a deep respect for the position of SMOB, the Board of Student Leaders, and the Board of Education, so if I am voted into office, I promise to make SOB my top priority. If you would like to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns about my platform or candidacy, please feel free to contact me.

© @dom4smob

( (301) 491-7355


Graham Synder

Hello! My name is Graham Snyder, I am a junior at North Hagerstown High School and excited to be running to be your Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) for the 2023-2024 academic year. 


Currently at North Hagerstown, I am a part of the international Baccalaureate program, and sit on the IB council, actively support North's student council, a working member of the host staff for the Maryland Association of Student Council’s convention this March, and run track and cross country for my school. 


I have always had an interest in policy and advocacy, and since returning from the pandemic, I’ve made every attempt to immerse myself into the world of policy and advocacy work: getting involved in projects through student council up to the state level, participating on IB council to support future students through the most rigorous program available, and supporting the Washington County Free Library as a member of the Teen Advisory Board.


These experiences along with many others have vastly improved my communication skills and given me new perspective into the world of policy, key skill sets that I would employ to the fullest effect in the SMOB position. 


My main priority as SMOB would be improving communication in schools, primarily with a focus on bridging the disparity that exists in our education system. The more involved I become with my school and community, the more students I see struggling on multiple levels: academically, socially, emotionally. From my own experience and talking with teachers, many students lack foundational knowledge in many topics. Many of these same students are self-conscious of this struggle to progress, negatively impacting their mental health and leading to frustration, often with a feeling that it is too late to learn. 


I believe more counseling resources for students to take the fullest advantage of all the new amazing opportunities in our county would be a strong step towards better supporting students across the board. As it is now, school guidance resources are stretched so thin that students feel as though their counselors are inaccessible, and thus they can’t have meaningful dedicated conversations about their futures. With more counseling resources, students would be able to truly envision their future and structure a plan to achieve it. I believe this investment in students would also make a tremendous impact on the rampant behavioral issues in our school, which commonly stem from a lack of support and guidance. 


    As we move into the future with amazing developments in our county, it is important to me that we maintain the current momentum. I am to carry forward Mae’s focus on student mental health, an issue that is still ever prevalent. 


    The position of SMOB is a huge opportunity to make the student voice active and heard by the Board of Education, and I would be honored to represent your interests to the board. If voted in, I will make SMOB my highest priority. 



Thank you, 

Graham Snyder

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