My mother and I started high school in the same year. For me, it was the start of freshman year at Rogers High School, where I met a teacher in the voc-tech program who encouraged me to join his class. In this program, my practical and creative tendencies found an outlet for expression and an avenue to a future career in graphic design. For my mom, it was the start of her 20-year career of secure and local employment as a custodian. She was a valuable and necessary asset to the school, and a friend to many students in addition to her co-workers. She provided for our family as a single mother while earning the benefits of health insurance, sick time and paid time off, and a retirement plan. When she was diagnosed with a terminal illness, our burden was eased by the disability insurance and early retirement funds that allowed us to take good care of her while meeting all financial needs.
As a parent and an employee, my mother had overlapping roles in the public school ecosystem that existed within our community. Each school is composed of dedicated professionals working together to provide services to students. Families like mine rely on this network of care in order to work and provide for our children.
As the parent of two children in Richmond Elementary School, I am part of the Chariho ecosystem. I happily volunteer for initiatives such as the Food Ambassador program and the Green Team. I worked as a coach for three sessions of the BOKS program this past school year, leading students in twice-weekly fitness classes prior to the start of their school day. I was also recently appointed to the School Improvement team.
I’m driven every day to ensure that my two young children receive what they need to thrive but that drive also extends beyond my own family. The whole community prospers when its students have access to quality public education, and that is why I’m a candidate for the Chariho School Committee. I know that I can make a positive local impact as a civil servant in this role with the goal of ensuring that all children receive the education they deserve.
I am a dedicated attendee of Chariho School Committee meetings, and a vocal supporter of our students, staff, and teachers. I have and will continue to advocate for the creation of a student representative position to participate in School Committee meetings. Students deserve a voice at the table where decisions are made that affect their education and their futures.
If elected to the School Committee, I will work productively to serve the needs of this moment and also the needs of future generations. My personal perspective is balanced by critical thinking and respect for others. I would collaborate with stakeholders to strengthen our school system in service of our community and in pursuit of quality public education. Through cooperation and civic duty, I promise to work hard to do good work.
The writer is a candidate for the Chariho School Committee.