Between Shoy Colbourne’s passion and experience for education, he believes he is the right fit for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District’s open seat. Colbourne, 33, relocated from the Bronx to Newburgh over ten years ago and is ready to apply his education skills towards the district here, creating a more equitable and innovative approach to learning, while visiting classrooms to see what’s happening on the ground level. It is his fourth year running.
Colbourne is currently the Director Implementation for the NYC Department of Education, where he works with over 200 principles, supervises teachers and ensures the best possible outcome for students. He is also studying for his doctorate in education at Saint Peter’s University. His past experience includes being a guidance counselor, working in childcare, directly in the classroom and as an administrator. Here in Newburgh, he has sat on a number of committees for the district, including the reopen committee (in response to the COVID-19 pandemic), the wellness advisory accountability team and the guidance counselor advisory team.
“My run perfectly collaborates with my personal life, which is ensuring everyone is getting adequate learning opportunities,” said Colbourne. “I do this for leisure and for a paycheck. It’s my work and my life. I want to make sure it translates for every student in Newburgh and that’s where my mind is. If there’s one thing I know, it’s education and all aspects of it.”
He is also a dad to his two children, with the oldest just entering the district at Horizons-on-the-Hudson as a pre-k student.
“My wife was born and raised here and went through the Newburgh public school system,” said Colbourne. “Although I’m not physically born here, I can say I spent my adult life here and I think there’s something to be said about that.”
Spending most of his adult life in the City of Newburgh and having a passion for education, he decided to make the jump and run for the seat. If elected, he aims at targeting the issue of instruction loss derived from the pandemic and starting a conversation on how to navigate the loss of learning through the months.
Colbourne has a special focus on the marginalized populations and students with varying abilities.
“I want to ensure the voices of marginalized communities are amplified, making sure there is space for these voices at the decision-making table, and a place that is free of any educational barriers.” said Colbourne.
When it comes to teachers, Colbourne recognizes just how important they truly are, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to make sure district staff and union representation is paramount,” said Colbourne. “Teachers, separate and apart from the healthcare workers, are frontline and the first line of defense. If teachers are safe and supported, they’re able to instruct students at their learning level.”
With a hands-on approach, popping in and out of classrooms, Colbourne believes he would be able to make more informed decisions for the district.
“I think that is what’s missing,” said Colbourne. “I don’t recall ever seeing a board member in a school or classroom. I don’t know how invested some members of the board are. That’s important to me. I’m that visible board member – increasing visibility is of the utmost important.”
When Colbourne isn’t busy with education work, he is spending time with his wife and two children – including attending his daughter’s soccer and football games.
For more information on Colbourne, visit his Facebook page at “Elect Shoy Colbourne NECSD BOE.”