PELHAM, N.Y. Marianne Gilland is new to the Pelham School District's Board of Education. The mother of three joined the board in July and has enthusiasm to get involved in the schools.
"I probably have all the same kind of ideals that anybody comes to the board with," Gilland said. "You want to just help make things better."
Gilland has already sent two of her sons through the Pelham school system and has a daughter in 10th grade at Pelham Memorial High School. She said she was pleased with the schools when her sons attended, but now changes have been made.
Gilland cited Advanced Placement classes for younger students, testing, standards and a "race to the top mentality" as some of the most crucial issues. She wants to usher a local feel back to Pelham again.
"The changes are not homegrown," Gilland said. "They're being forced upon us. What I've found is that we're starting to lose what's special about Pelham because of it."
The 25-year Pelham resident decided to apply for membership to the board at the last minute, filling out the application on the last day it was due.
She is part of the communication committee, but she cannot chair any committees as a first year board member. She had to go through six hours of finance training and six hours of government training to prepare to serve on the board.
"There really is a big learning curve," Gilland said. "I have to have patience to learn how it functions, but I'm not the first person to get on the board and feel this way."
Gilland said the board will hold its first meeting for the year on Monday.
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