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Letter to the Editor from Pelham School Board Candidate Christine Rosskopf

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Christine Rosskopf, a candidate for the Pelham school board. This year's school board election takes place on May 15.

 

My name is Christine Rosskopf and I am seeking a seat on Pelham’s Board of Education in the May 15 election. My husband and I moved to Pelham in 2008. We have two boys attending Siwanoy Elementary School. We recently purchased a home here because Pelham is a great community and a caring, supportive place to raise a family. Our schools are an integral part of what makes Pelham so special.

I want to serve on the Board because I believe I can help improve how the Board does business. We need real community input before making critical decisions about personnel, schedule or program changes. We need strong guiding principles regarding educational philosophies, class size and neighborhood schools. The Board must stop relying over-priced consultants when making decisions.

Pelham taxpayers have a long history of stepping up and digging deep to support our schools, but we aren’t writing a blank check. The Board must spend wisely. We must abandon incremental approaches to budgeting and build future budgets from the ground up, making sure that Pelham has a solid foundation of quality teachers and course offerings. Everything else must be built around this core.

The Board should form community advisory to tap into the incredible expertise of our neighbors. Vocal citizens should not be viewed as a burden, but recognized and utilized as a valuable resource. Suggestions should be welcomed, questions encouraged, ideas explored and subcommittee meetings opened. “Best practices” in other districts should be explored and considered for adoption in Pelham. We must work together as a community to ensure the best possible education for all of Pelham’s students from their first day of kindergarten to the day they walk off Franklin Field, diploma in hand.

What are my qualifications? I am an active member of the Pelham community. I regularly attend Board meetings and advocate for reforms. I have served on Siwanoy’s PTA for four years. I was the PTA’s Second Vice President in charge of membership the year Siwanoy earned the Focus on Fathers Award. I am an elected representative on Siwanoy’s Site-Based Council and sit on Pelham’s PTA Council. I’m a founding member of the Pelham Math Committee. I’m a four-time class parent, a four-time class treasurer, an active Cub Scout parent and a Pelham Travel Soccer team manager. Our family belongs to Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish.  We’ve twice hosted international exchange students for an academic year at Pelham Memorial High School through ASSE International Student Exchange.

I am by training, trade and temperament an advocate. I earned a law degree from George Washington University’s National Law Center in Washington, DC. I practiced complex litigation and regulatory law for eleven years in Los Angeles, where I was active in the Bar Association and served on the Board of Governors of the Women Lawyers Association. I am currently a member of the Education Lawyers Association. The ELA is a national forum for professionals engaged in research and interdisciplinary dialogue about education policy issues.

To learn more about me, or to contact me with your ideas for improving Pelham’s schools, please visit my website, www.ElectRosskopf.com. I am running for the BOE because I can make a difference for our community. I’d appreciate your vote on May 15.

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