Bridges of Pelham endorses Powers for school trustee because of work in schools, deep commitment to public education

To the editor:

An effective and inspiring member of the board of education should demonstrate leadership, empathy, knowledge, creativity and a passion to serve. As proven by her tireless volunteerism in Pelham’s schools and community, as well as her impressive career as an attorney, Janice Powers embodies all of these characteristics. More importantly, Powers is a woman of incredible character and integrity.

It is for these reasons that Bridges of Pelham is formally announcing our support for Powers as a candidate for the Pelham Board of Education.

Powers will be an invaluable addition to the board of education. Not only does she exemplify a spirit of excellence in academics and education, Powers believes in creating sustainable solutions for issues that affect our community. Though her daughter Ava has been in Pelham schools for only three years, Powers has given a significant amount of her time in this effort. From tackling lunch duty to working directly with the district superintendent, Powers approaches each task with a passion for service and a commitment to excellence. She can almost always be found at school meetings, on the late-night district calls, talking to new families, putting together events and even picking up supplies. Powers is not afraid of getting in the dirt with the kids and embracing any opportunity for collaboration in support of and advocacy for Pelham students. Some examples of Powers’s visible, longstanding service to the district and community include:

  • Board member, Pelham Education Foundation
  • Co-founder, Bridges of Pelham
  • Chairwoman, Siwanoy School Diversity Committee
  • Founder, Bridges of Pelham Middle School Scholarship Award
  • Newsletter editor, Siwanoy School PTA
  • Speaker, Pelham Memorial High School Career Day
  • Building Bridges program volunteer, Siwanoy School
  • Spelling Bee volunteer, Siwanoy School and Hutchinson School
  • Sunday school teacher, Union Baptist Church, Greenburgh

In addition to her visible forms of service, and as many Bridges members can attest, she is also a supportive and dependable friend. Always willing to go for a walk, share a good laugh (or cry), host an impromptu play date, or even do a last-minute pick up from soccer practice, Powers exemplifies community.

Driven by this passion, Powers co-founded Bridges of Pelham to build a community of support and inclusivity for BIPOC families and allies in Pelham. Through Bridges of Pelham, Powers dedicates her time and immense talent toward ensuring that all children and families who live in Pelham are seen, heard and represented.

Powers will be a much needed addition to an already high-achieving group of board of education members, who can depend on her vision, compassion, legal prowess, intellect and altruistic approach. Powers is for Pelham families and teachers, she believes in quality public school education for all children, whether they have a traditional learning path or if they require an IEP, have social and emotional learning (SEL) needs or are gifted/talented. As a lifelong advocate of public schools, she understands that unlike other educational models, public schools excel through inclusiveness, welcoming and serving all children irrespective of their differing learning styles and needs. Powers understands how hard public schools have to fight to ensure that their funding is not siphoned away by those other models, and that we must invest every resource to meet every student where they are.

For those of you who don’t know Powers, her story is the story of many families in Pelham. She immigrated to the U.S. from the island of St. Vincent at a young age. She has overcome many obstacles, including systemic and individual racism and discrimination as she rose through the ranks of higher education to earn a terminal degree (J.D.) in her field. She has built a distinguished legal career in public service—as current assistant attorney general and former assistant district attorney—and another eight years in private practice.

Bridges of Pelham is a diverse group, and we are incredibly proud to see Powers reflect the resilience of our community and our people’s unbreakable spirit, all with a desire to serve. We are also proud that our children can see themselves represented in her leadership and look to her as a role model in Pelham. With Powers on the board of education, we can rest easy that all Pelham students will have an ear and a heart accompanying them on their education journeys to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens in a more just and democratic society. A vote for Janice Powers is a vote to advocate for every student’s well being, to foster belonging and unity and to uphold our district’s high standards of academic excellence.

Ossie and Gary Gamaldo

124 Reed Ave.

On behalf of Bridges of Pelham members…

Adrian and Esther McLean

Alexa Young

Cynthia Morgan Jenkins

Dawnette Lewis

Debra Stern

Faith and Horace Howell

Gabriela Suarez

Jamal Epps and Anthea Kelsick

Justin and Daniela Young

Krystal and Kevin Howell

Latoya and Joe Barthelemy

Maurice and Atasha Greene

Monique Obudulu

Monique Wilson and Ernest Wright

Perez Family

Randy Slaughter

Roderick and Chanell Bradford

Shaba Simmons

Solange Bitol Hansen

Steffanie Willis and Stephen Byfield

Stephanie Chambers

Suany Aquino-Chudavala

Tara Gardner

Tiffany Hebert and Nathan Pereira

Tracey Gardner

Tenecia Williams

Mattie Williams

Mauricia Dalley

Jamare Dalley

Marvis Lynch