Suffield Democratic Town Committee

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Suzanne Richardson-White – Board of Education

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Experience

I have taught people of all ages through a variety of jobs: environmental educator, park ranger with the National Park Service, teaching assistant at the University of Rochester (NY) & UGA, adjunct professor at Georgia Perimeter College, and home-school teacher. I currently teach preschool at East Granby Congregational Church Nursery School.

Working with people of diverse ages and abilities has given me a unique understanding of the different ways people learn. I love teaching, and learning – I am always seeking ways to increase my skills and knowledge as a teacher and as a person.

 

Education

I have a B.S. in biology & geology from the University of Rochester (NY), and a M.S. in geology from the University of Georgia. I have a background in science, research, and statistics, as well as medical knowledge from EMT training.

 

Suffield Background

I grew up in Suffield, and attended Suffield public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. While at SHS, I was our student representative to the Board of Education, volunteered with the Friends of Kent Memorial Library, and worked for KML and Suffield Parks & Rec. I have fond memories of learning to swim at Sunrise Park; churning butter at the 1975 Bicentennial celebration; and performing under Joe Migliore and the late Frank Pacocha in high school musicals.

After moving to Georgia for graduate school, I returned to Suffield in 2016 with my family; our children are currently in 10th, 4th, and 2ndgrade in Suffield schools. I am actively involved with both the Friends of KML and ABAR Suffield, and also enjoy volunteering with my younger children’s classrooms – but I am anxious to be more involved with the school system as a whole.

 

Why I’m Running for the Board of Education

Our town has wonderful educators and administrators in the Suffield Public Schools. I am an enthusiastic believer in public education, and I have been tremendously grateful to my children’s teachers as we have all navigated the stress of the last two years under the shadow of COVID-19.

One of the most important things schools can teach our children, above and beyond the basic building blocks of learning, is how to think critically – how to assess information, how to determine whether something is true. I hope to advocate for inclusion of critical thinking skills – which are important for any post-high-school careers – in classroom curricula.

We, as a society, are learning how we can best support one another as we navigate deeper understanding of our history – as a country, as a state, and as a town. I hope to bring a voice promoting equity, and advocating reaching across the table to people from different cultural backgrounds. Our schools have the responsibility to be a safe space for children of all backgrounds; as we, as a community, evolve in our understanding of what this means, I hope to help our schools continue to grow and improve, preparing all our children for success in a multicultural world.

Another important challenge to our schools is meeting the needs of children with all different learning styles. Having worked in academia and studied statistics, I am comfortable reading and summarizing current research on how to help children thrive in the classroom. As we help prepare our students to shine in the 21st century, I hope to help give them the best possible start by advocating for practices shown by research to create the best environments for learning.