A New Jersey high school graduate who had his senior year disrupted by “awful” COVID-19 shutdowns defeated an incumbent candidate in his local school board race this week.
What are the details?
Nicholas Seppy, a 19-year-old graduate of Egg Harbor Township High School, trounced his opponent, sitting board member Terre Alabarda, by about 18 percentage points in New Jersey's election on Tuesday.
Seppy reportedly garnered 59% support with 4,042 votes while Alabarda earned just 41% with 2,830 votes, according to Atlantic County's election results webpage.
In conversation with the College Fix, Seppy slammed the shutdowns as “awful” and said that he decided to run for a seat on the school board “out of a desire to serve in [his] community” and to “give parents a voice in the district.”
The recent graduate made a similar statement to the Washington Examiner, telling the news outlet that he ran because he saw that “parents were not being listened to” and “wanted to give them a voice on behalf of their children.”
He added that extensive school closures and experiments with distance learning had a negative effect on student morale.
“Hybrid education was not yielding the enthusiasm in students they thought it would,” he said, specifically citing younger students who ended up missing “out on an entire year of education.”
The Press of Atlantic City reported that after closing in March 2020 due to the pandemic, schools in Egg Harbor Township have been operating under either an entirely online or partially in-person instruction model for most of the 2020-2021 school year.
In an Instagram post announcing his win, Seppy said, “My passion for the community of Egg Harbor Township is entirely everlasting, I aspire to set a positive example for our district. EHT shall have an excellent reputation, in both our standard of education and our efficient process of our budget.”
The aspiring politician, whose Instagram showcases patriotic posts and words of love for his country and community, has big plans for his school district.
He told the College Fix he intends to use his new position on the board to expand civics education and vocational training opportunities for students in the district.
Seppy's surprising victory is just one of many that occurred this week as a groundswell of new candidates fed up with the status quo won in local school board elections across the country.
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