Governor Wes Moore has appointed three local education leaders to the State Board of Education.
The Maryland State Board of Education sets the educational policy and standards for Maryland’s public pre-K through high school schools and vocational rehabilitation services and passes regulations. The State Board also reviews and approves three annual budgets (the Department of Education headquarters budget, the state aid to local education budget, and state-aided institutions budget) before they are passed on to the governor’s office for approval or revision, then on to the General Assembly for final action.
On June 14, Governor Wes Moore appointed three new members to the Board, bringing a wealth of educational experience and perspective together: Dr. Monica Goldson of Prince George’s County, Abisola Ayoola of Howard County, and Samir Paul of Montgomery County.
Dr. Monica Goldson: Dr. Monica Goldson is a student-led and community-focused leader, most recently known as the transformative leader and Prince George’s County Public Schools Chief Executive Officer. Under her leadership, Prince George’s County Public Schools gained national recognition from The College Board for higher passing rates on Advanced Placement exams, enhanced access to the county’s premier Science and Technology specialty program, and forged partnerships within the Prince George’s County Government’s Transforming Neighborhood Initiative @ Schools team.
Dr. Goldson is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an appointment from President Joseph R. Biden to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from Florida A&M University, master’s in elementary and secondary school administration from Bowie State University, and doctorate in educational administration and policy from Howard University.
Abisola Ayoola: Abisola Ayoola is the Maryland State Board of Education’s newest student member. Ayoola is a rising senior at Wilde Lake High School in Howard County, where she is a participant in the school’s Gifted & Talented Independent Research program; a member of her class council, the National Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society; and a leader with programs dedicated to advancing social justice and promoting mental health resources for students.
During the 2022-23 school year, she served as the student member of the Howard County Board of Education as an elected voting member and a member of the policy committee that advocated for student issues. In her role, Ayoola will be an advocate and powerful voice for Maryland’s K-12 students.
Samir Paul: Samir Paul is an attorney, educator, and organizer committed to sustaining and improving public schools as engines of economic opportunity where skilled and respected educators work with families and community members to train curious, compassionate, civic-minded problem-solvers. A strong advocate of early science and math exposure for kids, Paul helped start the STEM Talent Pipeline pilot program, which identified 40 girls, low-income students, and underrepresented minority students in the third grade to provide three years of accelerated and enriched math coursework.
Paul earned his bachelor’s in computer science at Harvard University, where he was awarded the Derek Bok Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and the F. Skiddy von Stade Award for personal excellence. He also holds a master’s in teaching from American University and a juris doctor from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar, a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, a Dean’s Scholar, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and head teaching assistant to Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.