PELHAM, N.Y. Thirteen-year Pelham resident Paul Prencis believes that as a parent, teacher and an administrator, he is uniquely qualified to assess all issues in our schools as a member on the Pelham Board of Education and is hoping to win election to one of two open spots on the board in May.
Prencis, who has twin boys in first grade at Prospect Hill Elementary School, said he is looking to join the board because of his third son entering the school in September.
I found myself fearing that he might not enjoy the great experience my older boys had, Prencis said. Discussions of redistricting, half-day kindergarten and, most frighteningly, large class sizes has made me wonder if those first 12 years of paying high taxes without children in the schools was indeed worth it. Thanks to community support, some of these suggestions will not be implemented, but large class sizes are still a topic at Board of Education meetings.
Prencis has four beliefs in education that he does not see as campaign promises but important stances that have taken a lifetime to solidify.
He believes that the salaries and benefits of teachers should be the last place we look to cut when trying to create a meaningful and appropriate budget because they are the single most important investment we can make.
The second belief is that small class sizes are important for the most needy of our students, including younger elementary students and students with high needs.
Prencis third belief is that mathematics education is just as important as reading in our world today, and his fourth is that the community must demand the most of our teachers and reward them appropriately, including salary increases that must be tied with direct accountability.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics and statistics at Stony Brook University, SUNY, Prencis earned a master's in mathematics education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He earned a second master's degree at the College of New Rochelle in educational administration.
During the past 19 years, he has been an administrator and educator throughout Westchester County and New York City, including currently teaching mathematics at Eastchester Middle and High School while previously serving as director of mathematics for the Yonkers City School District.
The election for Board of Education will take place May 15. Five candidates are running for two spots. Board President Robert Eicher is not running again, and Doug Hearle is seeking re-election. Prencis, Christine Rosskopf , Michael Recca and Madeline Smith are looking for their first election to the board.
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