173 support Powers for school board: ‘Specific blend of talent, training and commitment’

To the editor:

We are writing to wholeheartedly endorse Janice Powers for election to the board of education.

Powers brings a lifetime of experience as a public servant to this role. As an Asst. Attorney General she is a tireless ally, meeting with community groups, listening to their concerns, explaining complex legal issues and finding resolutions. Powers’ professional experience will be invaluable to our community as our board of education navigates complex state regulations that govern every aspect of our school program. No other candidate possesses this specific blend of talent, training and commitment.

As a seasoned trial lawyer and advocate, Powers is also uniquely positioned to champion the needs of our children and understands the ethical duty to keep students’ needs central at all times. This is a difficult task in a community with diverse opinions that demands the expertise of someone who is both skilled in mediation and understands our public schools’ obligations under state law and who comes to this role to meet those obligations and serve our students first and foremost.

This role demands a particular level of professionalism as well as perspective that represents the diversity of the community that the board serves. We need Janice’s analytic and pragmatic problem-solving skills in combination with her deep commitment to advocacy and equity.

Board of education service represents one of the highest forms of public service within our community — overseeing all aspects of the education and well being of our youth. What really resonates for us about Janice is her commitment to our community, demonstrated in service as a board member of the Pelham Education Foundation, Chair of Siwanoy School’s Diversity Committee and as a volunteer who has continuously rolled up her sleeves to give generously of her time in support of our teachers and students at school activities. There’s just no replacement for time spent working within our community’s schools.

We want leaders on the board of education who understand the unique qualities of our schools and who have invested many hours of engagement in our schools and know first-hand what is wonderful about them and where attention is needed. Even now, Janice’s approach to seeking a seat on the board reflects her deep experience in public service because she takes the time to come and meet people where they are. From playgrounds to playing fields to our main street hubs, Janice has spent her energies listening to people; this is public service.

Above all, Janice is a leader. Both compassionate and inspiring, she co-founded Bridges of Pelham to bring the Black community together and forge partnerships with the district and other groups that are strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion in our town, making Pelham a stronger and more unified place to live, work and learn.

We are also listening to our youth, whose voices have repeatedly told us through years of surveys, the equity audit and in public vigils in the park, that stronger leadership is needed and that representation matters. Janice Powers is exactly the kind of steadfast advocate that our students need, and will serve all of our community as she has for years, with compassion, dedication, and integrity.

Janice is our clear choice for a seat on the board of education and we hope you will join us in support of her leadership as Pelham students enter a period of innovation and growth.

Deborah Lowery Knapp

159 Corlies Ave.


Abby Balafas
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