Dr. Michelle Embree Ku – Legislative Council D3

Dr. Embree Ku

Prior to moving to Connecticut, I worked as a research scientist. When we moved to Newtown in 2009, I continued to commute to teach, but my involvement with raising three boys and volunteering in the community quickly filled my time. 

Each volunteer role has provided me with a new learning opportunity, whether it was gaining a better understanding of the town charter and municipal operations, grasping the art of contract negotiations, learning about curriculum and instruction development, participating in the state and federal legislative processes, examining municipal and education financial practices, or, perhaps most importantly, appreciating how to harness the energy of a group with diverse perspectives to bring improvements to our community. 

I strive to bring an open mind and a balanced perspective to all dialogue. This will be important in the coming months and years as the Legislative Council considers a revision to the town Charter, accommodations for growth in our population, and critical supports for the town’s infrastructure. I have advocated for Newtown’s educational needs at the state level, and look forward to continuing advocacy for all of Newtown’s residents.

Newtown’s focus must be to provide the best community services to its residents while addressing financial challenges. A balance of perspectives and ideas represented on the Legislative Council will be important in making sure we address these decisions in a thoughtful and effective manner. By making data-driven decisions, advocating for Newtown, and encouraging a cooperative spirit, I’m confident that I can make a positive contribution as we take on these challenges and fulfill our obligation to our residents, businesses, employees, and visitors.

Community Service/ Work Experience:

  • Newtown Board of Education (Chair since 2017, Member since 2013)
    • Curriculum & Instruction (Chair 2013-17, Member since 2013)
    • Policy (Chair 2013-17)
    • Contract Negotiations (participated in 8 or more contract negotiations since 2013)
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education 
    • Chair, State Government Relations Committee (since 2019)
    • Area 5 Director (since 2013)
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Member (since 2020)
  • Member of the Workspace Advisory Committee, Bethel, CT (since 2021)
  • Board of Directors, EdAdvance Regional Education Service Center (President 2020, Vice President 2018-19, member 2013-2020) 
  • Representative to CSDE/RESC Alliance Regional Advisory Team to examine return to school during COVID (2020)
  • Co-Chair of the State of Connecticut General Assembly’s Task Force to Study Life Threatening Food Allergies in Schools (2016)
  • Member of Municipal Building Strategic Plan Committee (2014-2015)
  • Member of Newtown Charter Revision Commission (2012)
  • Middle Gate PTA, Library Volunteer Coordinator (2012-2015)
  • Middle Gate PTA, school newsletter chair (2012-2013)

Prior to moving to Connecticut, I was an adjunct professor for Brown University and did scientific research for Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, and several pharmaceutical companies.

Education:

I attended public high school in Evanston, Illinois, obtained a B.S. in Animal Sciences from Cornell University and have a Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Brown University.

Personal Background:

Newtown has been our family’s home for 12 years. My husband Warren and I have three boys who attend(ed) Newtown public schools, and my parents lived here until very recently. Our youngest will be a sophomore at the High School this year. 

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