The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the Parkland School District.
Chris Pirrotta is running for school director in the Parkland School District, located in Lehigh County. He is a registered Democrat and works as the Vice President of Marketing at Sideshow.
Why are you running for the school board?
“I’m proud of the Parkland School District’s achievements, including leading the state and country in academics, arts, and athletics, and having the lowest county millage rates. As a frequent participant in board meetings since 2020, I’ve witnessed national politics’ attempts to divide our community. I had to stand up to support the dedicated volunteers already expertly running our district. I also knew I could bring new perspectives and professional experience to the board. I’m committed to maintaining and surpassing our community’s expectations while ensuring fiscal responsibility.”
What are the most important issues facing your district?
“As Parkland’s reputation spreads, it attracts families seeking excellent education and high property values. Our growth poses operational opportunities, necessitating fiscally prudent strategies to maintain our success. We must preserve our high educational standards, appeal to faculty, and minimize taxpayer burdens. Equally vital are our kids’ mental well-being and safety. Amidst social media challenges and pandemic impacts, divisive times require unwavering support for our district’s youth, especially those most vulnerable. By collaborating with parents, I want to counter these unrealistic and outdated ideas, ensuring the success of our students in a modern society. In addition, safety protocols, already robust at Parkland, require ongoing review and enhancement as society faces novel challenges.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
“I am the Vice President of Marketing at Sideshow, a specialty manufacturer in Thousand Oaks, California. Since 2001, I’ve co-built the Sideshow brand and company from obscurity to an over $100 million pop culture juggernaut. My boundless enthusiasm for creative solutions, adept team-building, and a steadfast ‘trust the experts’ approach enrich the board’s dynamics. Additionally, my ‘beginner’s mindset’ strategy puts community members and parents front and center on every decision facing the board.”
Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
“No, political office never crossed my mind due to divisive climates. I firmly believe that the vocal minority dominating discord is just that: a minority. Our community is inherently positive, driven by kindness instead of division. I’ve actively participated in Parkland School District board meetings since 2020, but my political engagement and experience have been limited. We don’t want seasoned politicians associated with school boards; rather, we need seasoned professionals who understand decorum, professional communication, and ultimately respect our fellow community members. The board should represent a cross-section of our community, harnessing the diversity of experiences for maximum impact.”
Are you running with other candidates?
“Absolutely! I’m honored to campaign alongside accomplished incumbents: President Carol Facchiano, Vice President Marisa Ziegler, stalwart member Lisa A. Roth, and Jay Rohatgi. Our synergy, diverse lives, and professional experiences fuel a shared vision celebrating Parkland’s achievements and boundless potential. You can learn more about my campaign on my website.”
What is the most important role of the school board, in your opinion?
“I believe the most important role of a school board, which matches the definition from the state, is maintaining a collective legislative body committed to providing every student the opportunity for growth and achievement through public education. This role mandates giving voice and consideration to all perspectives, not just meeting attendees or vocal factions. It also means providing a culture of transparency to counteract miscommunication and conspiracy.”
We contacted the Democratic and Republican committees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties and asked them to share the questions with their school director candidates. Broad + Liberty will post the responses throughout the summer to assist voters in learning about the candidates running in their district. The series is open to any school director on the ballot in November. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty