My name is Jennifer Padilla and I am running for a seat on the Newtown Board of Education in our municipal elections November 2nd, 2021.
I have lived in the heart of Sandy Hook for 13 years with my husband Jon and two daughters, Violet and Lillian. I love our town, with its modern yet bucolic feel. Like so many Newtowners before us, one of our main reasons for moving here was for the wonderful schools. I have spent almost a decade in our town, serving our community through various volunteer commitments, education related boards and committees, and working directly with our educators and district staff. With the exception of being a mom to my girls, that work and getting to know and help so many families in town has been the most fulfilling I’ve ever done.
Prior to my volunteer work, I had a successful 15 year career in human resources where my main areas of focus were recruiting, onboarding programming, training, and handbook/Policy creation. Those skills and abilities have served me well in my current commitments, where I have worked to foster connections between local businesses, community organizations, and our school district, and worked with key stakeholders in our community to create education related events and programming that support the needs of both students and staff. I have a strong track record of getting things done with our children’s best interest at heart, while being open minded and making sound logical decisions.
We are in the midst of a unique time for our children and educators, who have had to overcome many challenges in the way they have had to learn and teach over the past 1.5 years. Now we must look to bridge the learning gap left behind by COVID. This gap is real and we need to look toward creative solutions to ensure the success of our diverse community in both academic and social-emotional areas.
Our schools should be safe and respectful places, with a culture that is inclusive and honors each and every Newtown student. This includes the hiring of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator to create and support improvements in all areas. We need to de-mystify our special education assessments and programming and work toward a plan that helps families navigate every stage of that process to advocate for their children and get them the services they need to succeed.
Now is the time to elect strong, motivated leaders who have the complete interest of the Newtown School District in mind and I believe my experience would be a benefit in that process.
Some of the ways in which I’ve already served our community include:
- 6 years as a dedicated PTA Board member/4 years as President/Co-President (2015-present)
- Founding/currentmember of the Superintendent’s PEAC Parent Educator
Advisory Council (2019-present)
- Current member of the District Safety and Security Committee (2019-present)
- Member of the District Hiring Committee for the Director of Teaching and Learning
- 2020/2021 Nominee for the Newtown School District Profiles in Professionalism
- Founding board member of the Newtown Education Foundation (2015-2016)
I have also served on the Conservation Commission, coached girls basketball and softball, been an active volunteer for the schools drama programs, and have even sang our national anthem at a few of the Sandy Hook 5k races. It’s safe to say I love Newtown and feel deeply connected to improving our community.
These opportunities have been invaluable on my path toward understanding the mission and role the Board of Education plays in both the education of our children and the success of our community as a whole. I have learned so much from working with the people of Newtown.
In spending 6 years on a PTA board I have learned how to advocate for our children and the staff that work in our schools. I’ve learned to listen for opportunities to improve our already wonderful schools and to think through creative solutions to problems and adapt to constantly changing circumstances. Through my years of work on the PEAC partnership and budget committees, I’ve learned how important it is to create bridges between our schools and other organizations in our town, so that the community at large understands how education is evolving and how our children are learning to become productive and supportive members of our community. My time on our safety and security council has taught me how important it is to look to experts in fields that fall outside of my experience and to use quality data to inform my decisions while remaining focused on the goal at hand. These are important skills for a member of our Board of Education and If elected, I will work tirelessly for the families of Newtown and the staff in all of our schools, to keep our schools safe, our policies fair to all, and to bring new creative ideas in the areas and sub-committees for which I am responsible.
The Newtown school district is one of the best and our valuable and hard earned tax payer dollars should be spent wisely, in areas designed to ensure all children succeed, and that support the enrichment of our schools and the community at large.
I would love to hear from the members of our community and hope that you will come out and support our town this November by casting your vote for some pretty amazing people, all committed to keeping Newtown strong. Today. Tomorrow. Together. Every voice, every vote counts and this is your opportunity to have your voice heard and have an impact on how your taxpayer dollars are put to work… and of course, I hope that you will consider casting your vote for Jennifer Padilla, for Newtown board of Education.
Thank you and feel free to reach out to me any time!
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