Punished for taking part in a school walkout, a student is now running for the school board

Gabrielle Anzalone, 18, seeks a seat on the Lindenhurst Board of Education on Long Island, New York.

(CNN)Many soon-to-be graduates are ready to close the door on high school, but Gabrielle Anzalone has her mind set on joining her district's school board.

Anzalone, 18, graduates from Lindenhurst High School on Long Island next month but could become the newest member of the Lindenhurst Board of Education with Tuesday's election.
The teen was first inspired to run for office when she and other students were disciplined for joining a March 14 walkout on the one-month anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
    "As students, our voices were ironically unheard by those who are supposed to represent us and our interests," Anzalone told CNN. "In no way am I running to spite the board. If elected, I plan to cooperate and work hard to resolve the issues in my community."
    She's running for an open board seat against Josephine Martino, a parent and ex-PTA leader of another school. If elected, Anzalone would hold the position until June 2020 and would be the board's youngest member.
    "I will work tirelessly towards bridging the generational gap between the student body and the members serving on the board," her official campaign statement says on Facebook.
    Anzalone's punishment after the walkout was later reversed, but she said the feeling of not being heard by school officials stuck with her.
    "I will make sure that students will have a safe and reliable outlet for their concerns to be heard and taken seriously," she said. "I also aim to make education in and of itself a priority as well as resolve budgeting issues through creative means that will best benefit the students and the community at large."

    The day of the walkout

    Thousands of students across the United States walked out of class on March 14 to demand stricter gun laws and pay tribute to the lives lost in the Parkland shooting. The 17-minute walkout -- one minute for each of the 17 people killed at the Florida school -- began around 10 a.m. in each time zone.
    Ahead of the planned walkout, Lindenhurst High principal Clinton Grant sent a letter to parents that encouraged students to participate instead in a movement in which they would share messages of kindness to 14 students and three faculty members.
    Grant also outlined activities to pay tribute to the lives lost that included a poster board for students to sign for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and a brief memorial led by the student council.
    "In preparation fo