City Hosts 20 Portsmouth High School Students for Student Government Day

April 21, 2023

Thanks to City Councilor Rich Blalock, the City Council and City Manager revived a previously long-standing tradition to host Student Government Day in Portsmouth, on April 19. Twenty Portsmouth High School students volunteered to partner with City Councilors and City management to learn first-hand how municipal government works. Eight of the students (all sophomores taking American History 1) shadowed City Council members, while the rest spent the morning with City Manager Karen Conard and City Department Heads to understand their day-to-day functions and observe how City staff interact with the Mayor and City Council to advance the interests and needs of the community. To prepare for this day, the students attended the regular City Council meeting on Monday, April 17. With assistance from Portsmouth City Clerk Kelli Barnaby and Portsmouth High School teachers Michelle Wheeler and Heather Wheeler, the students met earlier this week to choose their preferred partners and the topics they sought to examine during their half-day in City offices and worksites.

Following their hands-on experiences – and lunch with their partners provided by Piscataqua Savings Bank – the students held a Mock City Council Meeting in City Hall Council Chambers with the student “City Council” on the dais and the student “City Staff” acting as their municipal counterparts and members of the public.

The participating students (with their partner City Council and City staff choices in parentheses) included:

  • Kelly Moriarty (Mayor McEachern)
  • James Johnston (Assistant Mayor Kelley & City Clerk Barnaby)
  • Elise Sedam (Councilor Tabor & Councilor Cook)
  • Logan Reis (Councilor Denton)
  • Josh Ciotti (Councilor Moreau)
  • Isha Shah (Councilor Bagley)
  • Oliver Fitzpatrick (Councilor Lombardi)
  • Reilly Collins (Councilor Blalock)
  • Sophie Williams (City Manager Conard)
  • Amanda Yusuf, (City Attorney Morrell)
  • Nic Caruso (Fire Chief McQuillen)
  • Josh Cortez (Police Chief Newport)
  • Sawyer Bouvier (Deputy Police Chief Maloney)
  • Sophia Cosgrove (Finance Director Belanger)
  • Miles Borne (Human Resources Director Harper)
  • Ben Gotlieb (Chief Building Inspector Wolph)
  • Lex Wu (Public Works Deputy Director Goetz)
  • John Tobin (Recreation Director Henley)
  • Evie Tombarelli (Public Health Director McNamara)
  • Cullen Dennett (Director of Communications and Community Engagement Bohanan)
Student Government Day 2023