Statement: School trustee candidate Treves wants to reverse downward trends—deliver excellence, not aspire to it

Will Treves

Editor’s note: This candidate statement was provided by school board candidate Will Treves. The Pelham Examiner publishes statements in the form received as a service to the community.

Who I am:

I’ve lived with my family in Pelham for eight years. With one child in Middle School, one in Colonial, and one starting kindergarten in September, it’s safe to say I’m heavily invested in our school system. Also, some of you may know me from Pelham Pack 1 Cub Scouts which I’ve helped lead for seven years.

Why I’m running:

I’m proud of Pelham and I’m proud of our community. But do our schools deliver the standard of excellence to which they aspire? Are we competitive with our neighboring towns? Are we repairing the damage of COVID with enough urgency? I believe the answer to these questions is no, and I’m dedicated to reversing these downward trends and returning us to an upward trajectory.

My experience:

I have a more than a decade’s experience in general management roles in both large and small companies. I’m used to solving problems with many stakeholders and listening to diverse opinions. I’m currently Chief Operating Officer for an early stage internet business in New York City.

What I believe:

  • We need to better understand our kids’ performance.
    Common sense suggests that the range of outcomes since March 2020 must be wildly different from student to student. So it is strange that the District has done little to acknowledge the learning loss from 2020 and 2021, not just to the student body as a whole, but to individual students based on their circumstances. Not every child had private tutors. Not every child had stay at home parents during this time. Not every child was well suited to this markedly different learning environment. So it is more important than ever that we measure and report upon our schools’ performance in a way that is transparent and understandable by all.
  • How do we compare?
    Pelham’s schools are supposed to be excellent… but are they? How do we compare not only to national and state standards, but also to our neighboring towns? We need relevant benchmarks so we can be confident that our town really is delivering a standard of excellence, and not just aspiring to one.
  • We need creative and effective decision making.
    Many formative experiences which were lost to COVID have not been restored. And when we have taken action, Pelham has usually been among the last to do so compared to our neighboring towns.  From academics to artistic events to just plain fun (the Middle School dance!), we need to be quicker and more creative in restoring what was lost.
  • The Board should reflect the concerns of the community.
    While the Board’s role is not to micromanage, it must be clear and direct in establishing the outcomes the community expects. A healthy Board should challenge the status quo, ask difficult questions and expect accountability. And all opinions should be welcome from every stakeholder in our school system. Most importantly, it should never take a petition from parents to force action from the District on something the community wants to happen.
  • Building a new strategic plan.
    I look forward to working with all stakeholders in our community in creating a new plan, which is focused on measurable goals in plain language we can all understand.