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Letter to the Editor: In Support of Heather Pach for Board of Education

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received September 12, 2023.

As a lifelong learner, educator, and parent I am excited to become involved in the Board of Education and to work with the Board, teachers, parents, students, and community members to continue to implement the Vision of the Graduate that was created by our community at large.

What better way to demonstrate the VOG than by Board of Education members modeling it with the goal of always improving the student experience and outcomes in our public schools? We all want what is best for our children.

The summary statement included in the vision, “A
graduate of the RSD17 school district is a compassionate critical thinker, who collaborates to solve problems, and is prepared to contribute to our improving world,” can and should be edited to apply to BOE members. “A BOE member in RSD17 is a compassionate critical thinker, who
collaborates to solve problems, and is prepared to contribute to creating a district where our
students will graduate and contribute to our improving world.”

When you elect me to represent you on the Board of Education you can expect that:
1. I will treat all people with respect, empathy, and kindness and, I will expect that of others. We each have so much to bring to the table in the way of experience,
circumstances, background, and skill and we must respect that in each other in order to continue to move our district forward. I will always respect diversity and recognize the
value of all persons. I will be an advocate for all students as I have been throughout my career.
2. I will communicate effectively with others. Most importantly, communication includes actively listening. I will be a good listener to all members of the community and to my fellow board members so that I can truly understand the information and perspectives that they bring to the table as we work together to achieve the common vision we share
for our students.
3. I will think critically. As a board member I will ask questions, listen, research, and analyze data from a variety of sources, and multiple perspectives, in order to develop my perspective. This is so important before voting on, or contributing to, the important decisions that impact our students. My role on the board is not about what I, or any one person, want. It is about collecting all information and perspectives to make the right decision for the good of all students.
4. I will contribute productively. I will work collaboratively with my other board members and put forth 100% effort into the tasks that I take on. I will think creatively, and
approach tasks flexibly, in order to be sure that solutions and outcomes keep the best interests of our students as their #1 goal.
5. I will maintain a growth mindset. I am an open-minded individual who will always seek to learn more and expand my thinking. I am determined to stay focused on the
success of our district and on using what we learn about what we have done to improve our next steps.
6. I will display character, courage, and integrity. I am confident that my experience in public schools has prepared me to always keep students in mind. I will always fight for
those who are struggling, or who feel disconnected. I will always participate in the difficult discussions that arise so that we can improve the education we provide for all.

I will be at the Farmers Market in Higganum on Saturday, September 23rd from 9-12. Please stop by if you have questions or thoughts you would like to share.

Heather Pach, Haddam

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