Candidate profiles: Naugatuck Board of Education (Independent)

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The Citizen’s News asked candidates running for Naugatuck Board of Education in the Nov. 2 municipal election four questions. The following is the response from an Independent candidate:

Jolee Dinho-Guerreiro

Jolee Dinho-Guerreiro

Age: 38

Party: Independent (write-in candidate)

Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology

Political Experience: None

Occupation: Secretary II at Western Connecticut State University

Why are you running for Board of Education?

“I am running for Board of Education because I have three children within the Naugatuck school system. I have always felt that the voices of the parents, children and school staff need to be heard by the Board of Ed and I feel I would be the right candidate to actually listen. I have been on the Naugatuck Youth Soccer Board for the past seven years and I understand how hard of a job it is to be on a board making decisions that impact our children. As an Independent candidate I want to be able to bridge the gap between the two parties since I have the ability to work with them both. My priority will always be the children and I hope to improve the communication between parents and teachers/ administrators.”

What can the school district do to improve student achievement and make up for the loss of in-person instructional time due to the pandemic?

“I feel that our children are resilient. For the most part they have adapted well to all that has been thrown at them throughout the pandemic. I feel that as a school district we need to listen to the issues and work together on how to fix them. Making learning fun and interesting for the students is a huge priority. Although many of our students are OK with online learning some are not. We need to acknowledge that and remember that not all children are the same and we need to be flexible enough to help them all.”

Do you think local boards of education should have discretion in deciding COVID-19 protocols for schools? What protocols do you think are needed?

“Ultimately the decision comes from the state, but I do feel that local boards should have a say. I feel that not every town is the same. Some schools have more room for spacing and can accommodate less protocols. Since this pandemic is a very fluid situation, we need to periodically reevaluate as we learn more about this virus as well as how it impacts children and their families. I feel the schools need to consider offering more flexible learning choices for students who are quarantining so that they do not fall behind.”

What is your message to voters?

“I am a parent just like most of you. My main focus is making sure that our children have the best educational experience that Naugatuck can give them!”