Press Release 12/18/2020
New Paltz Schools Tap Former BOE Member Matthew Williams to Fill Vacated Term
New Paltz, NY--Former New Paltz Central School District Board of Education (BOE) trustee Matthew Williams has been tapped to fill the term recently vacated by Sophia Skyles, who resigned her position due to a move out of the area. Williams will fill her seat until the annual budget vote and board member election on May 18, 2021. His appointment was made official during the Board of Education’s Wednesday, December 16, meeting.
Williams, who served from 2016 through 2019, was asked to fill the position because of his past Board experience and knowledge. Williams said that during his time with the Board, he helped to build three “very sound” budgets, which authorized spending for such improvements as the new fitness center and Duzine Elementary School’s recently constructed playground. Williams was also involved in the formation of the Racial Equity Committee. His service also helped increase the fund balance, which had been severely depleted in prior years.
Williams, a Highland resident, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Network Administration from Morrisville State College. He is married with four young children, ages 2-8, three of whom attend Duzine Elementary. Williams works as the lead software engineer at PacerPro, a technology startup that focuses on delivering public court documents from pacer.gov. Williams also dabbles in ham (amateur) radio, and plays around with synthesizers and other “quirky” instruments.
Williams said he appreciated being tapped for a second act, as he sincerely enjoyed working with the BOE in the past. He said that his top priority will be to foster cohesiveness and trust between the Board and the community. Williams said he will also be advocating “for the right technology in this heavily remote environment.” Lastly, Williams will be focusing on facilitating a responsible budget that will not negatively impact academic programs, teachers’ jobs, or curriculum.
Williams, who views himself as a “patient listener,” added that he strives to be polite and non-confrontational. He believes his professional background in technology will be useful, as will the relationship he has maintained with the District’s Technology director, Keith Baisley. “With the current remote situation, I'd like to think I'll be able to help advocate for what's necessary to achieve a successful remote environment,” Williams said. “I've been working remotely for more than 10 years, and the pain points I've seen a lot of people encounter this year are all solved problems I encountered a decade ago.”
BOE President Glenn LaPolt said that as a trustee, Williams was known for his open mindedness, ability to consider all viewpoints, and well-balanced demeanor. “Matt will provide much-needed stability during these tumultuous times,” said LaPolt. “His sense of duty to our children and community is an inspiration to us all.”