With the School District election next Tuesday, May 21 to fill three sets on the Board of Education, here is the final campaign statement of one of four candidates—John Brice:
I would like to introduce myself and explain my reasons for seeking another term on the School Board. I have lived in Pelham for 34 years and have two children who started Kindergarten at Prospect Hill and graduated from PMHS. They received an excellent education that recognized and supported their very different learning styles and personalities. I previously served on the School Board for nine years from 2001 to 2010, the last four of which I was Board President. While I served on the Board the district built a new Middle School, made extensive renovations to the High School and expanded Colonial along with many other projects at every school. I look back at that time as one of tremendous change and improvement and I am proud to have been a part of it.
Last July there were two unexpected resignations from the School Board and the Board reached out to the community for volunteers to fill the vacancies. After a lot of thought I submitted my application to finish the last year of one of the vacated board seats. My primary motivation was to help with the initial implementation of the recently passed bond referendum to build a new Hutchinson School. I had been very involved with the Community Bond Steering Committee, and with my experience as an Architect and past service on the School Board, I thought I could be helpful. I was lucky enough to be appointed for a one-year term.
Nine months in and there is still a lot to do. Much of the planning has been completed and bids for the early site preparation work have been received; but the hard part of managing construction for four major projects has yet to begin. There are still many critical steps to successfully complete the construction programs just underway and I would like to lend my expertise and experience to this effort.
The construction projects are only one reason that I am seeking another term on the Board. I have rediscovered the importance of the Board in setting the direction for the educational program we offer in Pelham. The Board makes countless decisions about funding, staffing and leadership which, in their totality, drive the success of our programs. The Board in Pelham has a tradition of raising the bar for our programs even while we struggle with the constraints of public education financing. The creation of the International Baccalaureate Program at the Middle School and the introduction of Foreign Languages in the Elementary Schools are recent examples of the district’s commitment to improvement. Ten years ago, these programs were just an aspiration, today they are up and running. This came about through careful and creative planning and I am excited to be part of the team that envisions the future needs of our students.
Pelham is and has been one of the premier school districts in New York State and the entire country; I would like the opportunity to help us move forward to even greater achievement. Thank you for your past and future support.