Statement: School board candidate Reen will seek sane common ground, brings expertise in special ed, arts

Tade Reen and his family.

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

Hello Fellow Pelhamites:

I’m Tade Reen and I’m proud to say I’m running for a seat on the Pelham Board of Education.

My wife Kristi and I have four children between the ages of seven and ten years old and we moved to Pelham in 2016. Many of you will recognize me as a coach for football and both boys and girls lacrosse. I’ve also served on the board of Pelham Youth Lacrosse since 2017.

As a Prospect Hill parent, I’ve been consistently impressed by the hard work, dedication, and soulful commitment displayed by the faculty during the last few challenging years. I believe in the Pelham mission statement, “Inspiring a Standard of Excellence for All Students”, and I want to help.

Why me, you ask? Fair question.

I’m dyslexic and growing up I was a mainstreamed Special Education student. I was blessed to have had teachers who focused on my strengths and encouraged me to trailblaze a pathway based on my unique, individual traits, while diverting me from getting bogged down in areas where I wasn’t as strong. I attended Muhlenberg College where I was a theatre arts major and a member of the football team. Socially navigating those two interests, and polar opposite groups of people, provided me with a unique perspective that taught me firsthand how to connect and find common ground with vastly different personality types. Upon graduation, I became a professional actor, appearing in an Off-Broadway show and various television shows in New York and Los Angeles. My alma mater commissioned me to write a play about my experiences in the public school system as a dyslexic student which was produced and shown at over fifty schools around the country. This led to me visiting countless schools from Seattle to Florida to speak to students, parents, teachers, PTAs and boards of education about my educational journey. While I left acting long ago and entered the world of executive recruitment, the arts and creativity remain a vital part of my daily life.

The opportunities and wonderful experiences I have been afforded are a direct result of the excellent public school education I was so fortunate to have received. I want our children here in Pelham to be able to say the same thing one day, so I’m offering my time and expertise for a three-year term. And I’m asking for your vote.

Three areas where I can help:

1. Special Education:

Not only do I have personal experience in this area, I have a child in the special education program. It is vitally important to me that all students receive the individualized support needed to find their way forward. The insight I can offer will be of value to students, parents and faculty.

2. The Arts:

As a non-active member of Actors Equity and SAG, this is a space I know well. Our town borders one of the primary hubs of the artistic world. We have access to actors, musicians, visual artists and writers of all kinds who would happily share their experiences with our students if we only asked. I can and I will.

3. Athletics:

Participation in athletics and town-wide support for our teams is high, yet we lag behind our logical rivals in significant ways. As the father of three girls, I’ll keep a keen eye on matters related to girls athletics. Having been a coach for both boys and girls teams in town for the last seven years, I’m familiar with the current issues, and I will be able to contribute immediately.

Pelham is primarily populated by practical, sensible and moderate people. Sadly, we live in a polarized society and fringe, extreme voices tend to take center stage too often. As a Pelham Board of Education member, I’ll listen and strive for sane common ground that will improve our already wonderful district.


Tade Reen