Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Statement: School board candidate Cohen seeks to chart ‘a vision to uplift every child, fostering a future of limitless possibilities’


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

Dear Pelham Neighbors, 

My name is Kathryn Cohen, and it is with great excitement that I announce my candidacy for the Pelham Board of Education

Together with my husband, Bryan, our sons, Jack (9) and William (6), and our dog, Cookie, we have proudly called Pelham our home since 2022. Like many of you, our decision to move to Pelham was influenced by the excellent reputation of the public school system. Since becoming part of this vibrant community, I have enjoyed taking on volunteer roles that have allowed me to give back and reflect my deep commitment to strengthening public education that helps all students flourish. I am eager to contribute even more and to add my skills and experiences to the current BOE as it engages with near- and long-term opportunities and embarks upon a new strategic plan. 

As a mother to two children with diverse learning profiles – one neurodivergent and one neurotypical – I am committed to ensuring that our district delivers on its educational promise to all students and that it not only meets but exceeds its motto of “inspiring a standard of excellence” for every child. I am dedicated to prioritizing the diverse goals and needs of Pelham families and cultivating a district where students and parents alike are seen, heard, and valued. 

Skills and Experience 

My professional background is in non-profit fundraising management, primarily with education-focused organizations. After stepping back from my career to raise my family, I redirected my focus toward community volunteerism. Currently, my work includes: 

  • Co-president of Pelham SEPTA (Special Education PTA) 
  • A participant in the Leadership in Education and Related Disabilities (LEND) program through the Westchester Institute for Human Development 
  • Parent advocate with GiftedNYS, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness for twice-exceptional (2e) learners 
  • Lead facilitator of a support network for parents raising 2e children 

Throughout my career, I have cultivated the art of active listening to get to the heart of what intrinsically motivates a person’s behavior. My success relies on my ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse stakeholders to build consensus and momentum. At the core of my approach is a genuine curiosity about people and their stories.

For example, I am enormously proud of SEPTA’s accomplishments this past year. We have seen in real-time how prioritizing open dialog and collaboration with families, non-profit groups, and the Town has led to identifying and amplifying important resources. Our partnerships have led to innovative programming that is relevant to our special education families and the community at large. Moreover, these programs have advanced SEPTA’s mission. It has been amazing to see the results of these efforts, including the positive bridges they are building across our Town. 

Areas of Focus as a BOE Trustee 

An effective BOE embraces collaboration and charts a vision to uplift every child, fostering a future of limitless possibilities. If elected, my priorities will include four interrelated areas that are vital to achieving our educational mission. 

Pursuing Academic Excellence: It is essential to look closely at what academic excellence means to each individual student and create pathways to achieve what is right for them. For some, that may be pursuing a two—or four-year degree. For others, it means pursuing skilled trades and vocations. Seeing students individually and providing teachers and counselors with the resources and professional developmen to support them is critical. If you can see it, you can be it! 

Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility: My unwavering commitment is to keep students at the center of budgetary decisions, championing their needs and aspirations in every fiscal choice. Fiscal responsibility and effective governance are closely aligned and directly influence the quality of education we provide to our students. Today’s budget decisions impact tomorrow’s possibilities and should be informed by holistic decision-making that is both sustainable and strategic. 

Supporting Student Wellness: Students need to be well to do well. We know there is a direct link between a learner’s social-emotional well-being and academic achievement. Effective and accessible social-emotional supports, comfortable physical learning environments, inspiring and accessible curricula, and passionate and prepared teachers form the foundations of well-being and belonging. They are necessary elements for students to realize their fullest potential. Our District has established an excellent base of resources that we can continue to strengthen, recognizing that as our students’ needs shift, so will our approaches. 

Investing in Teachers: Achieving excellence is also shaped by recruiting and retaining exemplary teachers whose training and professional expertise will serve the evolving needs of public school students, ensuring they receive high-quality education tailored to their learning styles. Well-supported teachers can implement innovative teaching methods and integrate technology effectively, fostering a dynamic and inclusive learning environment. By prioritizing teacher development and resources, we empower educators to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

In Pelham, we have so much potential to support our children in unique and inspiring ways. I feel lucky to send my children to school here, and I would be honored to give back to our community by serving on the Board of Education. I look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks and learning more about what is most important to you. 

Thank you, 


[email protected] 

Instagram: kathryncohen10803

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  • E

    Eileen MillerMay 13, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you for running, Kathryn!! Your enthusiasm and expertise in the Special Ed world will be a breath of fresh air!!

  • K

    Kristen WhalenMay 12, 2024 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you for running and thank you for your dedication to our children and their success

  • S

    Stephanie OteroMay 6, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    I have never worked with a more passionate and collaborative person in my entire life!! Kathryn will be a tremendous asset to our BOE, and she has my full support!!