Monday, November 4, 2013

Sheila Daniels: Candidate For Board of Education

Submitted by Shiela Daniels

Dear Friends:

I am writing to inform you of my candidacy for the Middletown Board of Education and to request your support for my re-election to this important position.

When I ran in 2005 as a first time candidate and again in 2009, as an incumbent, my focus was on:
·                        Promoting and improving positive public opinion of the Middletown Public Schools
·                        Promoting parent involvement
·                        Promoting positive morale among staff and students
·                        Promoting student learning so as to improve overall student performance
·                        Promoting quality education with sound fiscal management

For eight years, I have continued that focus and have prided myself on being fair-minded, listening to the concerns of students, parents, staff and administration, as well as my fellow BOE members. It has been my mantra that we use politics as our vehicle to the table, but once at the table, we focus on what is in the best educational interest of the children, not politics. I feel I have upheld that commitment and hope you do, too.

During my tenure on the Board of Education, there were periods of dissension and discourse. There was a level of mistrust, low morale and lack of transparency on many levels, including the budget process. With the last election, two years ago, a new and improved Board was formed and
we have worked hard to create a kinder and gentler Board and District. I initiated the first ever BOE driven district survey that resulted in very telling outcomes. Those outcomes were used to drive the Board’s decisions in moving the district forward.

We now have a new administration and the school district climate has improved. We continue to scrutinize the budget for ways to maintain quality while being fiscally responsible. There is more work to be done, and that work is being conducted in a transparent manner and in a climate that is conducive for positive results.
So, I ask that you re-elect me to the Board of Education for another term. Your vote will allow me to continue working on your behalf and push the above-mentioned items of focus. Please vote on Tuesday, November 5th!

I currently serve as the BOE Vice Chair, a position rarely held by a minority party member of the Board.
I am chair of the Policy Committee, secretary of the Middletown School Readiness Council and sit on the Negotiations Committee, Curriculum Committee, District Leadership Team, District Data Team, and Opportunity Knocks. I am the Board representative to MHS and Wesley School. In the community, I am a member of the Middlesex Coalition for Children, Middlesex Hospital Patient-Family Advisory Council and recently sat on the Live Auction Committee for Gilead Services.

I thank you, in advance, for your support. Please feel free to share this letter with your family and friends.

Please contact me if you have any comments, concerns, questions or suggestions so I can better serve you and the City of Middletown. I look forward to hearing from you.

 Full name:  Sheila C. Daniels 

 Education (colleges/degrees): BS in elementary education from Central 
   Connecticut State University. 

 Work: I work as an educational grant assistant here in Middletown.

Why do you want to hold public office in Middletown? Growing up in a politically involved and civic-minded family and marrying into the same, I followed the example set by my parents and extended members of my family and my husband's family. I aspired to be on the Board of Education as my aunt was when I was in high school. My passion for education and the overall well-being of young people also contribute to my desire to serve Middletown on the Board of Education. Currently the Vice Chair and in my 8th year on the Board of Education, I am very pleased with the positive direction the Board has taken in the past two years and look forward to continuing to work with my fellow Board members and collaborate with the current administration and staff in their efforts to support the students and families of Middletown. 

What experience do you bring to the table? As stated above, I am the Vice Chair of the BOE, currently in my 8th year and bring that experience to the table. I am a former member of the Communications and Naming committees and currently a member of the following committees: Executive, Policy, Curriculum and Negotiations. I am the BOE representative to the District Data Team, the District Climate Committee, Middletown High School, Wesley School, the Middletown School Readiness Council, Opportunity Knocks and belong to the Middlesex Coalition for Children. 
My background includes holding a bachelor's degree in education and working in the field. That work includes my current position and previously working in both private and public schools as a paraprofessional, substitute, long-term substitute, and teacher. I was also a child-care provider and offered field trips to our family farm. I belonged to and served as an officer on PTA/PTO organizations at Farm Hill, Keigwin, WWMS, MHS and on the MSA throughout my daughters' educational journeys. Prior to and while serving on the Board, I have worked with 4 superintendents and their assistants, several mayors, other politicians, many teachers, school staff members, students and their families, as well as people in the community.

What do you think the town's most pressing issue is? Middletown's most pressing issue is one that challenges nearly every city and town in the state - being able to serve the citizens under very tight budget constraints. We must consider the entire city from the educational needs of our youth to the needs of the elderly and everyone in between.

What do you love most about Middletown? What I like most about Middletown is its central location and diversity in landscape and population. 

 What do you like to do for fun?  I enjoy spending time with family and friends, antiquing, reading, and traveling.

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