Submitted by Lisa Loomis.
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My name is Lisa Loomis, and I am running for Board of Education. I’ve spent the last 15 years being the best teacher and mom I could be. For the last 5 years I’ve taught at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, the theme of which is social justice. One of our missions is to help kids become agents of change, but I realize that I have not, as Gandhi said, been the change I want to see in the world. Up until about a year ago, the extent of my political activism was making posts on Facebook, which I’ve learned is not very effective. That is why I decided to run for office.
My first teaching job was at Middletown High School, and I learned then that Middletown’s schools deserve a much better reputation than they have. Still, there are aspects of our schools that concern me. I’m concerned that the proficiency rate of students of color is generally 20-40 percentage points lower than that of white students, and the proficiency rate of students qualifying for free and reduced meals is generally 20-35 percentage points lower than that of students who do not qualify. I’m concerned that in 2015 Middletown was cited as one of the districts with the highest number of children under the age of 7 to be suspended. I’m concerned that just over 50% of our students are white, but just over 90% of our teachers are white.
By being elected to the Board of Education, I hope to use my experience as an educator to advocate for policies that will help close the achievement gap and promote social and emotional learning. I hope to use my experience to help ensure that we maximize our resources by being creative and wise with tax payer dollars. For the Board of Education to be effective, it is essential to have members who know what it is like to be in the classroom.
We cannot be a thriving city if more than 1/3 of our students are not proficient in literacy and umeracy. Diversity and the arts are strengths in Middletown – we need to capitalize on them to help our kids develop into smart, well-rounded, happy, healthy, productive citizens. I hope to bring my experience as an educator and educational leader to the Board of Education to advocate for all Middletown’s kids. Please vote for me on November 7th.