NEW YORK – Samir Paul, an Indian American teacher from Montgomery County in Maryland, who is running for the state House of Delegates in Bethesda-based District 16, has raised a total of $19,000 with $14,700 in direct financial donations and $4,300 in the form of in-kind contributions, according to the Bethesda Magazine.
Paul is running to replace Del. Bill Frick, who is running for county executive, while Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman are seeking re-election, according to the Bethesda Magazine.
Paul, 28, who teaches in the countywide math “magnet” program based at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, grew up in Potomac and was once a student himself in Blair’s math magnet program.
He received his Bachelor’s in computer science from Harvard University as well as Master’s in teaching from American University and started working at IBM, but later returned to the Silver Spring school to teach computer science classes in both the math magnet program and among the broader student population, according to the Bethesda Magazine.
He was also one of two educators to be recognized as a “rising star teacher of the year” by Montgomery County Public Schools in 2016 and was identified as one of its “30 Under 30” educators by the National Education Association (NEA) in 2017.
“I feel education is the most powerful tool we have to slingshot people into the middle class, but I see public schools as just one important part of an ecosystem communities can use to expand economic opportunity more and more broadly. There have been studies that say that, even more than public education, transit is one of the strongest predictors of economic mobility,” Paul told the Bethesda Magazine, last year.
According to the Bethesda Magazine, Paul’s parents came to the United States as students in the early 1980s; his father was an engineer and his mother, who had worked as a physician in India, owned and operated two coffee shops in the Washington area before she earned a master’s degree in public health and eventually worked for the federal government.
“In one generation, my parents immigrated to the United States, earned advanced degrees, built a business, served their country, and sent their two children to Harvard and Yale. Montgomery County’s excellent public schools and public institutions made my story possible, and we have to fight to ensure the next generation can share that experience,” Paul said in a press release.
As a teacher, Paul started the STEM Talent Pipeline program which identifies 40 girls, low-income and underrepresented minority 3rd graders who love math and gives them three years of accelerated coursework outside of school, setting them on a path to elite math/technology careers, according to his website.
He was also a teacher representative at the 2016 White House summit on expanding computer science education and led his students to the highest average AP Computer Science Exam scores in five years.
In the political arena, Paul was a field staffer for former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and was responsible for five crucial swing counties in rural Wisconsin.
Since returning home to Montgomery County in 2010, Paul has served on a variety of boards, including the University of Maryland Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, the Harvard Club of Washington, the Montgomery Blair High School PTSA, the Blair Magnet Foundation, and the Montgomery County Young Democrats.
Paul had a goal of raising $100,000 by mid-January.