My name is Erin Ballard and I am running for the Pleasantville Board of Education. I've been a resident of the Pleasantivlle community since 2016. I am the proud parent of two children and the wife of a veteran special education teacher. I look forward to getting to know you!
Letter to the Community
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I’m writing to officially share my decision to run for the Pleasantville Board of Education. This year, the election will be held on Tuesday, May 17th and I would be grateful for the opportunity to earn your vote.
I have been a member of the Pleasantville community since 2016. My family and I moved here because we were drawn – like so many others – to its charm, deep sense of community and amazing schools. I am the proud parent of two children – my 10 year old attends Pleasantville Middle School and my 3 year old goes to a local preschool – and the wife of a veteran special education teacher. Professionally, I have a Master’s in Public Administration from NYU Wagner and I have worked in the non-profit sector for the last 19 years. Currently, I serve as the Chief Operating Officer for a national social justice non-profit where I oversee finance, operations, human resources and programmatic functions.
Why Am I Running?
I made the decision to run for the PUFSD Board of Education because I am deeply passionate about civic engagement and the need for people to be active participants in their own communities. There is so much focus on the "big" elections but the reality is that the decisions that impact our lives – and the lives of our families – most often happen at the local level. We are entering uncharted territory as we begin to move into a “post-COVID” world where students, teachers and staff will have new and urgent needs. With that in mind, I felt compelled to get more deeply involved and leverage my own areas of passion and expertise to advocate for our students, teachers, staff and community.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a long career in public service. I graduated from NYU Wagner with a Master’s of Public Administration in 2005. Since then, I’ve worked with a number of non-profits in both the social justice and public health arenas. Through that work, I have developed a number of practical skills that I can bring to bear as a board member, such as:
financial management and forecasting
broad knowledge of human resources
implementation of strategic plan priorities
managing conflict and difficult conversations
oversight of safety and security protocols
creative and adaptable problem solver
balancing many competing needs and opinions
operating with limited financial and staff resources
Perhaps most importantly, I am uniquely positioned to understand the perspective of students, parents, teachers and staff, as well as other community partners. As the wife of a long time public school teacher, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges that teachers face every day in serving their students and school community. Through my work with the Pleasantville Community DEI Initiative, I have insight into the concerns and priorities of a critical cross section of our local community. As a parent, I also know how difficult these past two years have been for our children and our families. I am deeply committed to hearing from other parents about their experience in the District so we can identify what is working and what needs to be revisited.
While we need to adapt and continuously improve, the Pleasantville Union Free School District has a strong foundation upon which to build: resilient students, committed faculty and staff, and an engaged community. It would be an honor to serve as a collaborator and thought partner to our new superintendent as a member of the Pleasantville Board of Education.
You can learn more about my background, platform and how you can help by exploring this website.