POUGHKEEPSIE – Poughkeepsie High School Senior Peter Sealy is the District Board of Education student liaison for the 2023-2024 school year.
The primary function of the board liaison is to ensure that the board and superintendent are aware of issues critical to students, as well as to get feedback from them. School counselor Stacey Lee encouraged Sealy to apply for the position, who noted that he was inspired by the efforts of previous liaisons Harrison Brisbon McKinnon and Gabrihanna Jones.
“I was like, ‘OK, I can make a change like them or try to uplift the school,’” Sealy said. “Sometimes people can’t speak for themselves and I want to speak for them.”
Before his first board meeting Sealy surveyed his fellow students to see what issues they wanted addressed. They voiced concerns about feeling underserved by staff and having better quality school lunches. “Their input is vital,” Sealy said of the students. “It’s been eye-opening.”
While he was nervous to speak in front of the Board at first, Sealy appreciated them being welcoming to him and receptive to the ideas he presented.
“It shows that I could make a lot of change,” Sealy said. “They seem like they’re open and want to help the students.”
During the year, Sealy will also converse with the PHS Student Government on issues, as well as survey students in Poughkeepsie Middle School and the elementary schools for their opinions.
“They’re the future and they always have input,” Sealy said of the younger kids. “I plan to go over there to give the future a hand.”
Sealy is a member of PHS’ National Honor Society chapter and the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, which he credits with preparing him for public speaking opportunities and performing community service.
“These programs put me in touch with the community,” he said. “JROTC is the first program that made me speak.”
“This young man is a young man I admire a great deal because of his work ethic and his presence as a member of the JROTC”, shared Dr. Eric Jay Rosser, superintendent at the November 1st, 2023 Board meeting.“ Rosser further stated that he has a lot of confidence that beyond enrollment in the Poughkeepsie City School District, he will continue to do great things for himself and also the community.