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Meet Hana

Hana O'Loooney is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School and the 44th Student Member of the MCPS Board of Education. She is a member of the Board's Policy Management Committee and Strategic Planning Committee. Outside of MCPS, she serves as a member of the Youth Advisory Council for the International Nonprofit PERIOD. 

After getting involved in student government for the first time in sixth grade, I knew I wanted to make a change in my community. I did everything I could to change inequitable policies I saw at my own school before realizing that many of the changes I wanted to see, such as free menstrual hygiene products in all bathrooms, the observation of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu holidays, or closing the opportunity gap all required advocacy at the district level. Motivated by the lack of educational equity I saw permeating our system, I got involved with countywide advocacy in seventh grade, eventually becoming the President of the Montgomery County Junior Councils (MCJC), or the countywide middle school student government association. My work in this position was the first opportunity I was given to meet students from all across the county, visiting schools from Damascus to Argyle, Lakelands Park to Francis Scott Key, and Shady Grove to Earle B. Wood. 

 

It’s now been seven years since then, and I've now been given the opportunity to fight for the rghts and equitable education for all MCPS students as Vice President of the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association (MCR-SGA); the Member Outreach Director for Montgomery County Students for Change; the Chair of MoCo EmpowHER, MCPS’s female advocacy and empowerment organization; and now, Student Member of the MCPS Board of Education. Throughout my time in MCPS and the various leadership positions I have held, I’ve been able to successfully advocate to end PARCC testing, organize countywide voter registration drives in our high schools, secure a pilot program for free menstrual products in all of our bathrooms, start a leadership academy to teach students how to be better student activists, and so much more. In working for these initiatives, I have always prioritized listening to MCPS students, making a deliberate effort to involve a diverse array of perspectives and bring as many voices as possible to decision-making tables. 

Hana with Strong Schools Maryland, advocating for the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland's future, a bill to guarantee universal pre-kindergarten for all students and increased funding for education.

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Hana announcing her plan to combat misinformation about the MCPS boundary analysis, including meetings with every high school PSTA and information distribution through schools and social media.

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Hana addressing a delegation of student representatives from every MCPS high school at a countywide student government General Assembly.

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Hana with Strong Schools Maryland, advocating for the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland's future, a bill to guarantee universal pre-kindergarten for all students and increased funding for education.

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As this work has required me to constantly travel to different middle and high schools across the county, I have seen firsthand the vast resource disparities between zip codes in our district, as well as the minimal opportunities MCPS currently has for student engagement and participation in the policymaking process. 

 

As the most important stakeholders in education, I believe that students from all backgrounds and experiences should be consulted more frequently by MCPS and given a larger, more meaningful voice in policymaking. That's why I take engaging with students to be the most important

role in my position on the board, and invest a lot of time into visiting schools, answering students' questions and concerns, and hosting SMOB Advisory Council meetings. 

As an MCPS student, I know that your voice and participation in this process is the only way we will ever be able to create a truly equitable education system that is the best that it can be. As I always have, at the Board table, I will continue to involve as many of you in direct policymaking as possible. If you would like to join my Advisory Council, or have questions or concerns about my platform, please contact me!