More About Rachel

Hello, Merrimack Families! Let me introduce myself to those that do not know me as I am running for the one-year term School Board Member position within the Merrimack School District. My husband and I moved to Merrimack in October 2009 and have two very active boys, ages eleven and (almost) nine who attend James Mastricola Upper Elementary (JMUES) and Thorntons Ferry School (TFS). They are one of the reasons I am interested in becoming a member of the School Board. I believe that educating our youth by investing in our public schools is a means to strengthen and grow our town/community.

I am an active member within our school community currently serving as the Treasurer for the Parents & Teachers of Thorntons Ferry (PTTF). I have gained the insight and knowledge with regard to school operation, curriculum and programs while working hand-in-hand with school administration, staff, students and families. During the summer of 2020, I was a member of the Parent Taskforce Committee, led by our Superintendent, where my role was to canvas the parent community and bring their voices/thoughts/ideas to the school administration team as they navigated decisions and formulated policy and procedures to safely re-open our schools in September 2020. I understand that the best environment for our students and staff to flourish is an environment where all staff, students and families feel heard and supported.

In order for our school district to continue to thrive and grow, I find it important to recognize the outstanding work of our educators and students, while at the same time being able to address areas that may show a need for improvement. I see the importance of having an infrastructure which supports retaining our highly-qualified educators, as well as attracting new educators that will bring their passion for educating our youth to Merrimack. A timely review of policies, as well as ensuring the district has measurable and realistic goals along with effective ways to measure student achievement and/or teacher performance/professional growth are key to ensuring student progress. The results of student and teacher achievements should be identified and communicated to the community in an easy-to-understand manner. If elected, I would work/strive to improve communication between the School Board and our community.

I have a vested stake in the quality of education both as a parent and a taxpayer. My job working for the Department of Defense (DoD) provides me the experience and strong foundation for researching and analyzing data in order to develop annual budgets. This experience includes leading and collaborating with a diverse group of people to gather and analyze current and historical data to develop independent data-driven estimates, and provide un-biased recommendation(s) to the DoD decision makers thus allowing them to make more informed decisions. These skill sets of leadership and critical thinking, along with already serving within our school community, would be strong assets to bring to the School Board decision making process regarding operating budgets, ensuring the safety of the students and staff, negotiating teacher contracts, as well as the updating and/or adding of new policies/procedures.

I look forward to the community discussions that will happen in the near term, and if elected, helping to serve and support our school community!

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