Rebekah Harriman Stites – Board of Education

Rebekah has been a Newtown resident for 18 years, where she is proud to raise her 13 year old son, Fisher.  She was elected to the Newtown Board of Education in 2015 and named the Board’s Vice-Chair in 2017.  She currently serves as Chair of the Policy Committee and previously chaired the CIP/Finance Committee and the Superintendent Search Committee.  Former First Selectman, Pat Llodra, named her to the Municipal Buildings Space Needs Strategic Planning Committee.  In addition to her multiple community engagements, Rebekah is an active volunteer with Newtown Youth Wrestling Association and Newtown Youth Lacrosse, two community sports organizations in which her son participates.

Rebekah is also a founding member of the My Sandy Hook Family Fund, which raised over $1.5 million to directly assist the families of the victims of the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Working with CT’s federal delegation, the My Sandy Hook Family Fund was the only charity formed in response to the shooting that was able to distribute funds directly to the most impacted families.  Rebekah’s positive impact on Newtown and our region is noted beyond our borders. In 2014, Rebekah was named a “Hero” by Money Magazine for her extraordinary work benefiting the financial well-being of others through the My Sandy Hook Family Fund. In 2010, she was recognized by the Fairfield County Business Journal as one of its top “40 Under 40” business leaders.

In 2010, Rebekah founded a boutique fund development firm, assisting nonprofits and municipalities across the Northeast in achieving their strategic fundraising goals.  In her role as Chief Development Officer,  the company’s assets grew over 400% before she sold the buisness to her partner in 2019.

In addition to strengthening her community and leading a business, Rebekah chaired the Leadership Greater Bridgeport Board of Directors from 2015-2017, a leadership development and community engagement program of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. She was a founding board member for Newtown’s EverWonder Children’s Museum and served as President of the Parent Teacher Association at Middle Gate Elementary School.

Rebekah is a graduate of Central CT State University with a degree in Social Work. Following her graduation in 2000, Rebekah worked as a community organizer in Rhode Island, fighting for women’s reproductive rights and health care for all. Additionally, she has worked as a domestic violence counselor and a family violence victim advocate in the Bristol, CT court.  She currently serves as Director of Development at Ann’s Place in Danbury, a nonprofit providing no cost support services to those facing cancer and their families.