Merin Thomas, Student Member

Merin ThomasMerin Thomas has attended Wicomico County Public Schools since 2010, first at Pemberton Elementary and then at Salisbury Middle and James M. Bennett High. In addition to English, Thomas is fluent in Hindi and Malayalam, and she is endeavoring to learn American Sign Language. She was born in India, the daughter of Thomas Abraham and Reena Thomas, who immigrated to the United States with their children. In the personal statement that accompanied her application to serve on the State Board, Thomas shared this: “I am running for SMOB to become a voice for each child in Maryland; my prime focus being the smaller counties of Maryland. Many students from these smaller counties wish they had the same chances as kids up north of Maryland and with my experience, as someone from a small county, I believe it will benefit the Board. Ensuring that students from each county feel seen and heard would be one of the priorities I choose to accomplish.”Seeking opportunities to serve and make a difference both in school and in the community, she led a Women’s Drive to collect menstrual products and women’s undergarments for those in need and to reduce the stigma female students may experience because of their periods. She says that as the voice of the students, she will advocate for better education on menstrual hygiene for all students through health classes, and greater leniency on absences for female students who are struggling with the symptoms of menstruation. She will also advocate for more access to safe “escapes” for young people in underprivileged communities – such as after-school programs – and more flexibility for instruction from home for students who are dealing with COVID-related anxiety. Her other leadership activities at school include Concert Choir (Section Leader), SMART (Solutions for Multicultural Achievement and Recognition Team) Club President since 2020, and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America historian in 2020. She is a member of the National Honor Society (upcoming President), W.E.B. Dubois Honor Society, Mock Trial, the Leo Club for service, and Environmental Club. She has supported other students by working as a junior educator with Kumon in Salisbury and by serving as a mentor. Thomas has pursued creative writing through TheLilacBlog and the Young Authors’ Contest, in which she earned a 2nd-Place award last year. She is an honor roll student at JMB. Starting July 1, 2022, Thomas will be the first Wicomico student to serve on the Maryland State Board of Education since 2008-2009. Thomas said she is looking forward to serving all of the 900,000+ Maryland students while also representing her school, county, and heritage.