Rebecca Smondrowski spent Thursday evening at a facilities work session of the Montgomery County Board of Education.
Smondrowski was there to observe and learn as a member of the audience, but come next year, she’ll be on the other side of the room.
Smondrowski will become the newest face on the board after winning Tuesday’s election for the District 2 seat against Fred Evans. She replaces Laura Berthiaume, who did not seek reelection
Incumbents Phil Kauffman and Chris Barclay comfortably glided to victory in the Montgomery County Board of Education race for the at-large and District 4 seats.
But Smondrowski will be under close watch as the newest addition to the governing body that develops policy for the 17th largest school system in the nation.
Thursday night’s facilities work session was the second meeting with the Board of Education for Smondrowski that day, even though less than 48 hours had passed since the final, unofficial election results came in Tuesday.
The biggest thing on Smondrowski’s mind since winning after campaigning for almost a year?
“I don’t want to let anybody down,” Smondrowski said.
Smondrowski, former legislative aide and special assistant to state Sen. Roger Manno (D-Montgomery), edged out Evans by a margin of less than 4 percentage points.
Evans, a former Montgomery County schools teacher and administrator, won the endorsement of the teacher’s union, but that wasn’t enough for him to take the win.
“Had I not been at the polls from open to close every single day of early voting of Election Day, and had I not been fortunate enough to have friends and supporters who stood outside all day every day with me at those locations, I probably would not have won,” said Smondrowski, who estimates that she and her campaign team talked to more than 30,000 voters in the parking lots of polling places.
Smondrowski said that as she prepares to take office, she’ll be working on concerns she heard from voters on the campaign trail, such as worries over Curriculum 2.0 standards and increasing community engagement.
“I know that I’m not going to be able to make everybody happy,” Smondrowski said. “But I do really want to generally do the best I can and make sure people know we’re looking out for their best interest and that they’re being heard.”