Drone Pilot SchoolHeather Raymond, Nashua Board Of Education Candidate

October 15, 2021by helo-10
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Family

I’m married with 2 middle school aged children. We also have dogs, cats, and fish.

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

BS Psychology

Occupation

I began my career in upstate New York where I specialized in working with children who had experienced severe trauma before moving to Nashua in 2010. In New Hampshire, I worked for the NH Division of Children Youth and Families as a Child Protective Social Worker before working for CASA of New Hampshire as a Program Manager supervising Guardian ad Litems assigned by the court to advocate for the needs of children in foster care.

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

Board of Education

Campaign website

see Facebook Profile

Why are you seeking elective office?

It has always been important to me to serve my community from volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters in NY, working for NH CASA, and volunteering with community service agencies to provide lunches to children in the summer and packing backpacks and Christmas bags with the Soup Kitchen snd Shelter here in Nashua. As my own children have gotten older I’ve felt called to serve in a larger capacity and I ran for the BoE 4 years ago. I’m excited to run again to continue work on the Middle Schools Projects, upgrading our curriculum, and helping our students become 21st Century Learners.

The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

The current most pressing issue for our school district is academics. As we recover from the pandemic, we need to assess where our students are and what supports our students and staff need. This means ensuring that students have appropriate curriculum, updated facilities and technology. It also means retaining our talented staff while recruiting skilled teachers and para-educators. Because we have students from all over the world, we also need adequate ELL (English language learner) staff and comprehensive professional training for existing staff. All of this means we need a Board who can adequately oversee the administration of the CARES II and ESSURE II & III funds.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

When I worked for DCYF and CASA, I had the opportunity to visit all 18 of the District’s schools and participate in IEP meetings. Over the past four years I’ve become extremely knowledgeable about state and federal laws that effect the District. From
FERPA, to Special Education Laws, to 302.2 I’ve experienced them all. I know how to oversee the District budget and negotiate with the 7 unions. And I was part of creating the current strategic plan.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)

How do you think local officials performed in responding to the coronavirus? What if anything would you have done differently?

Like everyone, Board Members had to learn while doing as the pandemic progressed. I believe that section 74 of the city charter requires the BoE to protect the public health of the city’s children. As such it has been imperative that we follow public health guidelines.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

During the past four years I’m proud that we have been able to expand the District’s CTE Program to bring back machining, support teachers to write and pilot a robot algebra class that is a model for other schools, create the state’s first and only drone program that allows students to obtain a pilot’s license, and enhance partnerships with local businesses to create internships for students. We have aligned the district’s science curriculum to meet the Next Generation Science Standards, and are in the process of reviewing and updating the social studies curriculum. I have worked on the Middle Schools Project from its inception enduring that the Fairgrounds project was completed on time and under budget, and that the plans for the new middle school meet the recommendations of the Conservation Commission to preserve wildlife habitats.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

Always assume good intentions.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I have worked hard the past four years to make rational decisions based on the facts available at the time. I’m calm in times of stress and know how to run meetings so that everyone can participate and the work gets done.



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