NYU's Independent Student Newspaper

Gallatin sophomore serves on high school board of trustees

Courtesy of Peter Mountanos

“As a graduate of Wantagh High School and a lifetime resident of Wantagh, I am aware of both the strengths and weaknesses of this district. I have been involved in many different facets of the Wantagh School District, and I believe I can provide the voice needed to represent the student body, as well as the community as a whole,” said Gallatin sophomore Peter Mountanos in the introduction of his official campaign platform, this past May.

With the support of family, friends and the residents of his community, Mountanos was elected to be a trustee on the Wantagh Board of Education, despite only graduating from high school in Wantagh, N.Y., in 2012.

Now on the verge of his sophomore year at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Mountanos is actively working with the school board — a major part of his life throughout the past five years. Along with four other elected trustees, he will serve a three-year, term during which he will deal with the policies and affairs of both his own school district and other local boards affiliated with the state of New York.

“Peter cares deeply about the education of our students,” said Kera McLoughlin, a fellow trustee on the board who was sworn in on the same day as Mountanos. “He is incredibly hardworking and approaches issues in a thoughtful and measured way, while working collaboratively and respect- fully with his colleagues on the board.”

Mountanos campaigned to increase revenues for the district, improve Wantagh students status as candidates for college admissions and improve technology edu- cation and the school’s technology infrastructure. His fervor for expanding science programs and emphasis on the importance of Advanced Placement courses has made Mountanos popular among constituents.

Voters easily align themselves with his ideologies, especially because of his perspec- tive — Mountanos was a student at Wantagh High School less than 15 months ago.

To help with his campaign, Mountanos launched numerous projects. In the spring, he worked with two of his high school alumni, Dan Charytonowicz and Chris Fiscella, to host a workshop known as the Wantagh Technology Day Conference. The goal was to teach students the science of the future with skills including coding.

“The reality is that our education system is constantly evolving, so it’s extremely important to have someone who has recently experienced it firsthand to be weighing in on decisions,” Mountanos said. “As a member of Wantagh’s Board of Education, I have been given the opportunity to directly make decisions that benefit our students. I’m extremely excited that I now have the ability to provide the voice our students deserve.”

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 25 print edition. Kimberly Schu is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]

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NYU's Independent Student Newspaper
Gallatin sophomore serves on high school board of trustees