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Letter to the Editor: In Support of Prem Aithal for RSD 17 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 November 9, 2022.

My name is Prem Aithal and I very recently served on the Board of Education from July 2020 to November 2021.  Recently, a Haddam Board member resigned and created a vacancy on the BOE.  I’m running for the open seat as an unaffiliated candidate, endorsed by the Haddam Democrats.  In order to vote for me, you have to be present at the Town Meeting at the Haddam Firehouse, 439 Saybrook Road, Higganum, at 7:00 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, November 9, 2022).  I am confident that other candidates will be nominated on the floor, so please be there if you would like to vote for me.

While on the Board of Education, I served on the Finance Subcommittee and chaired the Strategic Planning Subcommittee (which was created in September 2020).  Recognizing my contributions and the crucial work ahead, the Board re-appointed me after my election loss to continue co-chairing (along with current Board member Jen Favalora) the Strategic Planning Subcommittee in December 2021 as a public, non-voting member.  My contributions include leading efforts to create a new vision, core values, strategic goals, and objectives for the District, based on the great feedback we received from many people in and around the schools and the Haddam/Killingworth communities.  This included coordinating, facilitating, and conducting numerous Board workshops with administrators to move forward the plan.  Ultimately, I presented the plan to the Board in May 2022 and it was approved unanimously by those present.

My professional experience has been largely on the business side, as I spent around 23 years in Corporate America, the last 17 years with Anthem, Inc, specializing in finance and strategic planning.  However, based on my fulfilling Board experience, I decided to leave that life behind in April and pursue more mission-driven work.  I am now a strategic planning consultant in the fields of education & non-profit and am currently working with three school districts across the Northeast.  This will be an advantage for RSD17, as I will be able to find best practices and opportunities to bring back home.  I am also currently working on a strategic plan for a very important local agency, HKYFS, which will have several connections to District work.

As we are asking students in the District to challenge themselves, I am challenging myself as well to return to the full Board, especially with the experiences and perspectives from my new professional role.  My platform remains the same: Growth for All Students.  I ask for your consideration to vote for me.  In order to vote, you must attend the Town Meeting live tonight, Wednesday, November 9th at the Firehouse at 7:00 p.m.  Thank you for your support!

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