Magruder Student Serves as Councilmember for a Day

Chloe Appel, a sophomore at Col. Zadok Magruder High School in Derwood, served as an honorary Montgomery County Councilmember Tuesday.

Appel is the third student to win Councilmember Craig Rice’s annual “Councilmember for a Day” contest. The contest calls for students to submit either a video or written essay reflecting on important policy issues facing young people.

Appel won the contest by submitting an essay about the need for Montgomery County high schools to address the growing mental health problems of students.

In her essay, Appel said, “Nearly 10,000 students in Montgomery County are struggling with a diagnosable, treatable illness every single day.”

She called for a “comprehensive approach to mental health education” in schools. Appel also said in her essay that mental health issues hit close to home for her, which is why she wants to help her peers.

Appel wrote in her essay, “[W]hen I look at my peers I cannot help wondering who is suffering in silence. Who could need help and no one is aware? And even if we were aware, would we know what to do?”

A video released on County Cable Montgomery‘s (CCM) YoutTube page gives people a glimpse into how Appel spent her day. In the video, Appel had the opportunity to be at the table when Councilmember Evan Glass introduced the Montgomery County Pay Equity Act, which aims to close pay disparities between men and women in Montgomery County.

Rice said during the council meeting, “We want to fix this problem so that when [Appel] goes off to her professional career, she can ensure that she’s receiving the same wage as any other of her male counterparts.”

Deirdre Appel, mother of Chloe Appel, told MCM in a social media message that Chloe missed a test in AP National, State, and Local government during her day as an honorary councilmember.

“She’s hoping she gets extra credit since was learning about government and public policy in real life instead of from a book,” Deirdre Appel said.

Rice told CCM that the council “loosened” the usual protocols to ensure that Chloe Appel had a memorable experience at the council. Appel told CCM that she enjoyed her experience serving alongside the council, especially because she had the opportunity to speak on the floor about climate change.

“This is a relaxed atmosphere, and folks understand that this is a student who’s doing this, who really is passionate about student activism,” said Rice.

Chloe’s Appel’s Day as a Councilmember on Social Media

Chloe Appel Was Selected As Honorary Councilmember Among Nine Finalists

A press release published by the Montgomery Council Council, said that Appel was selected as the winner among nine finalists from Montgomery County Public Schools.

It noted that Alice Kahkajian, a Magruder student, placed second in the contest for her essay about closing the “opportunity gap” by expanding the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program. Also, Kadijah Keita, a Northwood High School student, placed third in the contest for her essay which also focused on “expanding mental health services for students in Montgomery County Public Schools.”

Here are the other finalists for this contest:

  • Momoreoluwa Alade, A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
  • Joshua Barney, Northwest High School
  • Tiffany Brown, Clarksburg High School
  • Darshini Babu Ganesh, Poolesville High School
  • Adji Keinde, Hallie Wells Middle School
  • Nyrene Monforte, Montgomery Blair High School
  • Angela Xiong, Walt Whitman High School

Appel was announced as the winner among the finalists at the Council’s Youth Town Hall reception in October (CCM captured this moment in the video featured below).

“The quality of entries for the Councilmember for a Day challenge continue to get more thought-provoking each year and provide valuable insights into what is important to our youth,” said Rice.

Students can already apply for the next Councilmember for a Day contest. See this link for more details about the application.

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Deirdre Byrne

About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.


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