Endorse Rowe for school board: Has expertise to understand challenges facing schools, commitment to educational issues

To the editor:

We are writing to express our support for Ian Rowe’s candidacy to become a member of the Pelham Board of Education. Over many years, we have gotten to know Ian and his family through different ways: from the neighborhood, from Huguenot (church, nursery school or cabaret) and from Siwanoy School. We all share a deep friendship and respect for Ian and believe he would be a tremendous asset to the Pelham Board of Education for these reasons:

1. Professional Expertise

Ian is uniquely positioned to understand the challenges facing our school administration because he has been running schools for over 10 years: First as the chief executive officer of the Public Prep network of charter schools from 2010 to 2020 and now as the leader of a new network of International Baccalaureate schools. He knows what it is like to push for continuous improvement in student academic performance while balancing the needs of teachers, the concerns of parents and the social-emotional health of all members of a school community. Most importantly, Ian has proven his ability to navigate these challenges to get results. Public Prep’s schools have all been recognized by New York State for “high academic achievement and strong progress,” an honor only bestowed on the top 15% of schools statewide.

2. Commitment

Ian has dedicated most of his life to educational issues and serving the needs of young people. Most of his work prior to Public Prep was also focused on education and youth, including Teach for America, serving as deputy director of the post-secondary success team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and leading strategic partnerships and public affairs at MTV, where his role was to foster youth activism and engagement. As someone who has worked to improve the lives of young people of all races from a wide range of backgrounds, Ian has a deep personal commitment seeing all children achieve their potential.

3. Intelligence

Serving on the board of education involves wading through dense, jargon-laden materials and parsing complex issues to determine the best course of action. His professional background will already make him more familiar with many subjects, but Ian also has the innate brilliance that will enable him to see through the clutter and identify clear and logical responses to the many issues facing our district. His intelligence will also allow him to think analytically and independently about charged issues.

4. Temperament

Anyone who has ever met Ian knows that he is soft spoken, a great listener and is always willing to engage in a thoughtful discussion about issues. He has made it clear that he wants to collaborate with others on the board and the administration in helping our schools and community move forward—points he made clear in his statement at the board of education meeting on Feb. 3.

To summarize, we are grateful that Ian is willing to offer his talents to our community and we feel that our district would greatly benefit from his participation on the school board. In his work and life, he has embodied his campaign slogan: “Inspiring a Standard of Excellence for All Students.” He has our vote on May 18, and we hope you will join us.


Louise and Doug Kelly

108 Boulevard


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