New Jersey

19-Year-Old Recent High School Grad Wins Seat on NJ Town School Board By Wide Margin

The teen previously served on the board of education as a student representative, but now he’s heading back this time with a vote

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School board races don’t often get widespread attention, but the winner of one contest in a Jersey Shore town is making some waves.

That's because he’s a teenager, who had part of his senior year of high school impacted by the pandemic — and he won his seat by a big margin.

Stockton University sophomore Nicholas Seppy is a political science major, and at only 19, he also will be serving on the Egg Harbor Township Board of Education.

“One day I hope to study law and I figured this would be a good place for me to start," Seppy said.

He knows that what he has accomplished is quite unusual for someone his age, but said that "young people being involved I think is a good thing.”

Seppy’s victory last week marked his second run for school board. He lost the first time in 2020, after the pandemic upended the final portion of his senior year at Egg Harbor Township High School. He’s believes it’s critical that parents are heard.

“I want to give them that opportunity to have a voice," said Seppy. "The big thing is parents, their number one priority is their children.”

He’ll fill the unexpired term of a board member who stepped down. Terre Alabarda was appointed to the seat, but as an incumbent, she lost by a margin of more than 17 percent.

“He had a lot of support not only financially, but he had a lot of politicians helping him and I'm a teacher. I'm not a politician, and I funded my own campaign," Alabarda told NBC New York.

Seppy already knows some of his big-ticket items he wants to promote.

"My two biggest issues on my platform right now are civics education and vocational education," he said.

Seppy previously served on the board of education as a student representative. Still a teenager, he’s heading back but this time with a vote.

"I would love to see younger people get involved with me, but I also won't put a superficial status on as well," Seppy said. "I hope that young people look at me and say, 'Hey, there's that's our guy. We went to high school with him, we know him.'"

His first meeting as a board of education member is scheduled for early January. The term that he’s filling only has one year remaining.

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