Student ambassadors set out to change high school’s image

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Pleasantville High School Principal Stephen Townsend stands with his student representatives to the Board of Education. From left, they are seniors Neil Peters, Arizandi Guzman and Julia Monroe, all 17. Pleasantville High School Principal Stephen Townsend stands with his student representatives to the Board of Education. From left, they are seniors Neil Peters, Arizandi Guzman and Julia Monroe, all 17. PLEASANTVILLE – Each of the three seniors who were selected as the high school’s student representatives to the Board of Education say they have only one goal in mind: change.

Arizandi Guzman and Neil Peters of Pleasantville and Julia Monroe of Absecon, all said they want to help change the impression others have of Pleasantville High School, its students and the city.

“I wanted to become involved to help change the bad image,” said Guzman, who is also involved in the school’s JROTC, the National Honor Society, and the Ambassador, yearbook and Temp Pep groups.

“I want to change the image because we know what it’s really like inside the school, the good people,” she said.

And Guzman, Monroe and Peters, all 17 years old, say they see the good others fail to realize.

The student representatives will make presentations at the Board of Education’s two monthly meetings. They will act as go-betweens to share students’ concerns and relay the activities that students are involved in with members of the board, Guzman said.

Guzman, who plans to attend Valley ForgeMilitarySchool, said she wanted to become involved as soon as she heard the call for student representative candidates during the morning announcements.

Monroe, who is a history buff, answered the challenge at the suggestion of her history teacher, Anne Hughes.

“I like to get involved and listen to people’s concerns,” said Monroe, who is a member of the Team Pep, Key Club and Ambassador programs.

“I wanted to step up and become involved,” she said. “I wanted to be someone that people could talk to.”

Monroe said she hopes to attend DrexelUniversity to study public relations after she graduates.

Guzman, Monroe and Peters each had to write an essay and answer questions in order to be considered as a student board representative.

Peters, a small forward and captain on the Greyhounds varsity boys basketball team, decided to become a student ambassador when Principal Stephen Townsend approached him.

“He is my role model. I look up to him,” Peters said. “He can give you brotherly advice and fatherly advice. He can also discipline you when you need it. He is someone that I can always talk to.”

Though Peters enjoys the culinary arts (his favorite food is chicken parmigiana), he plans to study communications or pre-law.

He is considering attending Delaware State or Long Island University. The New York school is where Chelsea Johnson, the daughter of his coach, Ken Johnson, played college basketball.

“I’m a people person,” Peters said. “And I want to help promote a better image for Pleasantville.”

Townsend said all three students are leaders that other students can look up to.
“Whether it is family, career – no matter what they do in life – they will do it and do it well,” he said. “I know they can inspire others to do the same.”

Townsend said he knows Guzman, Monroe and Peters will help inspire younger students to participate as student representatives and to become involved in the other school groups.


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