Published On: Sat, Nov 2nd, 2013

Candidate Tracy Keyes views New Hope-Solebury School Board from dual parent/teacher perspective

New Hope-Solebury School Board candidate Tracy Keyes (Photo: Charlie Sahner)

New Hope-Solebury School Board candidate Tracy Keyes (Photo: Charlie Sahner)

Tracy Keyes is one of four Democrat/Republican candidates running for New Hope-Solebury School Board. She lives on Equestrian Drive in Solebury with her husband, two sons and two guinea pigs.

Keyes earned a BA in human development from California State University and an MS in childhood development from University of Laverne. She has worked at Head Start, in corporate child care, taught first grade, and currently teaches early childhood education at Kutztown University.

“I love my job…I love what I do,” said Keyes. She also enjoys baking, wine tasting, and sewing during the summer months.

She believes that her dual role as parent and educator gives her a leg up on other candidates. “Because I work at a state university and we certify teachers, I have a good understanding of what changes are coming. I wear two hats — the educator hat and the parent hat — and I have to struggle with balancing my parenting role with my work role.

“When the school board was talking about closing the LES, I really started going to the meetings because I felt that unless there was some great reason why we needed to close it, that it was a gem in our community: to have an early childhood school is ideal. To me it made sense. So I became involved by going to meetings and I witnessed what was going on and my parent hat switched to my teacher hat. I thought there’s some things that are not going so well, and I could sit there and complain to everyone about it, but then i thought, ‘maybe i can contribute.’ Maybe my role as both a parent and as an educator and as a leader in my work environment could contribute something to this board in terms of a different perspective,” continued Keyes.

She sees the school board as performing “a governance role, ensuring that the kids are getting best education they can get, you’re ensuring that you’re being responsible to taxpayers, you’re ensuring that the school is safe and our facilities are up to code, and we’ve got a bunch of ADA issues coming down the pike with that high school, we really have to plan for that, and the retirement crisis.”

Other issues to tackle in Keyes’ view include the comprehensive plan, and from an educational viewpoint as compared to nearby districts,”We’re doing okay, but we could be doing better,” she asserted. “I think we have the resources to be the best, and why not go for it?”

Another approaching “big deal”for Keyes is the teachers’ contract. “They’re working right now without a contract, and the negotiations should come up with the next board,” she said. “And we’ve got to live within our educational means.”

In terms of addressing security concerns, Keyes said, “As a parent I want reasonable security measures. I don’t feel we need police at every school entrance, but I feel we need to be safe.”

All in all, Keyes believes the board needs to provide better leadership, and that her dual parent/educator perspective and collaborative, research-based solutions are the right ways to get there. She views her role as supporting the administration and teachers, rather than micromanaging. “No micromanaging for me. I don’t like to be micromanaged, nor do I wish to micromanage…they’re in those roles for a reason — they do a good job — the school board is just there to support them, rather than dictate.”

Keyes’ process for balancing the goal of superior academics with fiscal reality is through “Listening to the administration, to the staff, the teachers…they’re on the front line — what do we need, what’s working, what’s not working. Obviously, science has been an issue. We need to update our science curriculum. And you know, sometimes science tends to take a back seat to math and reading, but I think science is right up there. We really need to be be doing more science in kindergarten. So listening to the teachers and administration, and also the community. Just because you don’t have children in the school doesn’t mean you don’t have an opinion or something to offer.

“I’ve been going to board meetings long enough to know that there are no simple answers for these complex issues. It’s really about trying to balance all those needs,” added Keyes.

“The mission statement talks about how the school district takes pride in its commitment to excellence, and I think that it’ a very powerful statement, and I think as a school board we need to keep striving in our commitment to excellence,” she concluded.

 

About the Author

- “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein

Displaying 8 Comments
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  1. mband2008@comcast.net' Melvin Band says:

    First of all, kudos to all people in New Hope Solebury who UNLIKE Mr. /Ms.”Enough” have the COURAGE to use their real names in all their postings for the candidates. Perhaps, Enough will find the courage to reveal his/her identity.Perhaps not.
    Next, if Enough came to the League of Women’s Voters forum, he/she would have seen that the four running on the Libertarian line, because of their extensive skills, including the skill to communicate blew away the opposition which repeatedly stated,”I echo what he said.” Wow!Is that all the opposition can bring to the table?In short,Mark Cowell, Niraj Patel,Stan Marcus and Howard Savin don’t need any assistance from anyone in speaking their conscience.
    Next point.There is a world of difference between filing a complaint and proving the allegations. Have the allegations been proven?
    Next point. Anyone can sign and circulate papers. This is not against the law. Next, in the last sentence, who does the pronoun “our” refer to? And finally, in the last two sentences, is that some sort of threat Mr./Ms Anonymous?

  2. mband2008@comcast.net' Melvin Band says:

    To Art(Sigmund Freud) Ross, Thank you for psychoanalysis.

  3. mband2008@comcast.net' Melvin Band says:

    When a Board member has children in the district, it is a wonderful opportunity for the administration to manipulate these board members and vice versa. It’s the old, you do for me- go along with the administration’s agenda and wishes and the administration will do for you- giving your children the best teachers and services. When a board member doesn’t have children in the district,the administration loses its primary source of manipulation. Now as far as what can the four candidates running on the Libertarian line can bring to the team, all one has to do is read their resumes which are not fluff, but real accomplishments. Now as far as how many years Tracy Keyes taught in the public school system, I am still waiting for a specific answer. And by the way, if you go to Rate My Professor.Com, you will see some interesting responses from her college students.
    And finally, let me use myself as an example,a senior citizen, with no kids that ever attended Solebury, but yet someone who repeatedly blows the whistle on an administration that continues to put all students in harm’s way. Here are some examples. (1) Called the DEP who came down and cited this district for storage of chemicals just one hundred feet from the MS in the Haunted Woods. Reported in the Intell(2)Publicly blew the whistle on the administration regarding the unsafe tennis courts which led to the insurance company closing three of them after being reported in the Intell. (3)On UTube goggle “poor conditions of the New Hope Solebury high school soccer fields.” Moral of the story.Having children in the district IS NOT a prerequisite for looking out for the best interests of children.

    • tsutton@gmail.com' enough says:

      Mel Band, I actually feel sorry for the Libertarians because they have chosen you as their spokesperson. You assert that parents cannot be effective board members because they are ethically compromised. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, an ethics complaint has been filed against the only school board member who does NOT have children in the school district. That same board member signed and circulated the filing papers of each Libertarian, didn’t she? So how does not having children insulate you from potentially improper conduct on the school board? Mark Cowell, Niraj Patel, Stan Marcus and Howard Savin, do you really share the views of Mel Band? Is this truly who you want to continue to be the face of your campaign? Whether you win or lose, your name will always be associated with this man and your school board sponsors. If you want our votes, it is time to disassociate yourself from these people.

  4. capart@comcast.net' art ross says:

    The four Libertarians are four LOSERS, unable to find satisfaction in their own personal lives and as a result transfer their poor relationship and unfulfilled ambitions to destroying our communities biggest asset, our children and their school. Ask each, has any of YOUR children attended our school, the answer would be NO, they are liars and poor examples of what we need on our board.

  5. mband2008@comcast.net' Melvin Band says:

    When Tracy Keyes says”.. her dual role as both parent and educator gives her a leg up on the other candidates”, surely she is referring to the other three candidates on her slate, because three of the four candidates on the opposing slate ARE or were both educators and parents with the fourth having decades of insight as a teacher, principal, supt.and state appointed fiscal monitor, where his first hand knowledge of thousands of his students (from k-12) and finance ensured them receiving the best possible education.

    • Jcgormley@gmail.com' Parent says:

      Mel, with all due respect, none of the candidates in the other side have children who attend our school district. Yes their children are grown- but many never attended our school when they were younger. A canidate who is a parent of NHS students and an educator of future teachers- well that speaks volumes. I can also state that Tracy has years of classroom experience. When it gets right down to it- people in the community – well parents of the actual school children- do not care about all the fluff on a persons resume. What they are about is what’s there motivation (children in the school district is pretty powerful) and what can they bring to the team (keys has a resume and experience without all the fluff). She’s. Great person who has taught me a lot about what education should be about – not a business – but a student centered program with a success record that speaks for itself. I admire her greatly.

  6. mband2008@comcast.net' Melvin Band says:

    Points of information. I would like to know how many years Tracy Keyes taught elementary education and in which public schools she taught.I found that the best college teachers, by far,were those teachers that had extensive first hand experience rather than those who were simply book smart.

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