On July 6, Troy Chryssos will take a seat at the table with the Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education.
Recently elected to the position of student board member by John Jay's student-run Campus Congress, Chryssos will fill the position vacated by graduating senior Michael Mitchell.
If you want a sense of the 17-year-old incoming senior's goals as student representative on the board, one clue may be the name he gave to his four-member rock band, "The Semi-Revolutionaries," which he assembled two years ago as a guitarist and songwriter.
The band was named after the Robert Frost poem, "A Semi-Revolution," Chryssos told Patch. He keeps a book of Frost, the well-known poet of the New England countryside and lesser-known political philosopher, for reference and inspiration at his bedside.
The sobriquet "Semi-Revolution" applies to the music of his generation—a cross between classic and pop rock, he says. The term "Semi-Revolution" could apply as well to his approach to his new position.
Though the position—established in 2007 through a town-wide vote, 2,212 to 1,126—is a non-voting one—student board members participate in all public board meeetings. Chryssos was attracted to it because he believes that board of education is the the place to make change in schools, and he may have an opportunity to do some good. "I'm a very vocal person," he said. "A bit of a rabble-rouser."
Chryssos attended and spoke at the recent lengthy and somewhat rancorous budget hearings as an advocate for the arts and learned about the fine art of compromise that he expects he will experience and learn more about as student representative.
"I went to most of the budget meetings and read the entire budget," he said. "I spoke out about how the proposed budget cuts were doing an injustice to the artistic community." That controversy and others boiled over to spirited debates among students at lunch about what really mattered to them as students, he recalled.
Chryssos plans to be sensitive to conflicting interests among his constituency, he said, and he'll be open to all sides before exercising his judgement. Politics and community activism run in the family—his father, Peter Chryssos, is the town of Bedford's Deputy Supervisor and three-term Councilman, and his mother, Jennifer Cook, is president of the Katonah Chamber of Commerce.
Chryssos will be expected to attend meetings over the summer and twice-monthly during the school year plus any special sessions on the budget. But as a member of the National Honor Society and recent co-director of the popular two-night Variety Show at John Jay High School, he has some experience at juggling many balls at once.
The current summer break is a case in point. He's signed up for a three-week course at New York University in practical recording techniques as well as an online course in economics (a graduation requirement that he can't fit into his packed academic schedule). Chryssos will also complete an internship in post-production activities with a sound engineer at the Radical Media Studios in New York.
And his band is recording an extended play CD at a professional sound recording studio with four musical selections. Two of the songs are ready to record and two others are works in progress.
The title of the CD? Once again, Robert Frost is providing inspiration. Frost's poem, "Why Wait for Science?,"a meditation on human extinction, is under consideration.