Readers Write: Adam Smith for academic excellence in Port Washington School District

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All families want the best education possible for their children, and all children deserve it. This is why I am running to be a Port Washington School Board Trustee.

I want to shift the focus of the Board back to what matters: to fundamentals, to addressing the decline in our district’s national ranking, and to the underlying performance metrics that are driving that decline.

My wife, Jenny, and I have lived in Port Washington for the past decade. We have started, and grown, our family of three children here. My parents live in town. My sister lives in Port with her husband and my two nieces.

So when I say my family is invested in the future of this community and the school district, I mean my entire family. We didn’t grow up here, but we fell in love with it and have built strong ties of friendship, family and community. We all love Port.

When I say “every child deserves the best education they can get,” I mean every child, from our ENL students to our special needs students to our gifted students. Some students excel in math, others in English language.

We have athletes and we have performers. We can support all of the students in the areas in which they need help. All of our students deserve a chance to shine. I do not know yet which programs will benefit my children, as they are young and their personalities, interests, and learning styles are still developing. I want to make sure my children, and every child, has access to whatever program might benefit them.

I understand our budget is limited. I am not naive about budgets. I deal with them every single day. I run strategic planning and day-to-day operations of a real estate investment and development firm, including the creation and implementation of complex budgets for projects, and for the organization as a whole. I am also a trustee of a local religious institution, meaning I have experience with budgeting in the not-for-profit world.

I am extremely proud of the work I have done on this Board: I spearheaded the implementation of physical security measures; secured federal funding; instituted an emergency operations plan; and, most recently, guided our COVID response team through building closures and reopenings. I was also instrumental in ensuring a strong virtual presence for our congregation and preschool since the first days of the lockdown.

I believe we can do more in our district to ensure that all kids are getting the education and opportunities they deserve… and to stop our decline in the national rankings. I agree with others, in theory, who have said that rankings are just numbers. Unfortunately, those numbers have real-world consequences.

They impact our kids’ ability to get into top-tier colleges and universities after graduation. This affects all students because if our top academic performers are not getting into top schools, they will take the spots at the next tier of schools… and the next set of our graduates will be pushed down… and so on, all the way down the line. The rankings also affect the reputation of our school district, which has a detrimental impact on its attractiveness to home buyers. We know this affects everything from property values to business investment in the community.

I am concerned about our declining educational performance. I am concerned about the effect it will have on our kids and their futures. I am concerned about the lack of transparency in the district, and how hard it is for parents to understand how and why decisions are being made. I am most concerned with the fact that the current Board is not addressing these issues, and has not made them top priorities.

I am a problem-solver. When I see a problem, I have to address it. Right now, I see a problem. Vote for me and I will fight to find solutions, not excuses. Vote for me if you want the voice of concerned parents to be heard in board meetings. Vote for me if you want increased transparency about what is happening in the school district.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please message me directly through my Facebook page (Adam Smith, Board of Education) and I will be happy to answer any individual questions you might have.

Adam Smith
Board Of Education Candidate
Port Washington

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