STAMFORD, CT – Election day November 2 is fast approaching and there are a number of key races on the ballot in Stamford.
Patch has reached out to candidates at the local office to get more information about their campaigns and the issues facing the city.
Democrat Versha Munshi-South, 42, is a candidate for the Stamford Board of Education.
Occupation: Leadership Coach at Tntp
Family: Jason (spouse, professor of biology at Fordham University), Kiran (son, 13), Zulekha (daughter, 10). Both children are students at Stamford Public Schools.
The biggest problem in town is ______, and I plan to do this about it:
This is the third school year affected by the pandemic, and we just can’t wait for the pandemic to be âoverâ to provide our students with a great education. As an educator and mother of students in the Stamford School System today, I believe the most pressing issue facing our city today is moving from responding to the pandemic to planning and implementing ‘proactive adaptation of our approach, so that we can better educate students and support teachers and staff in this new reality.
My professional and university education in education gives me a unique perspective in this space, and I would work with the BOE and the district to ensure that we design and implement smart and proactive policies that prioritize health and to the safety of our students and teachers, while helping them continue to learn. At the same time, the pandemic hasn’t created all of the challenges we’ve seen in schools over the past 18 months; He just revealed them.
We need to adjust our teaching and learning approaches if we are to ensure our students have the resources and supports they need to be academically, socially and emotionally successful. As a member of the BOE, I would support updating the curriculum to ensure our teachers have access to more modern resources and training to meet the needs of diverse learners in their classrooms.
We cannot – and must not want to – go back to âbusiness as usualâ. We need to be innovative in our thinking and learn from the lessons we learned during this difficult time to offer students more than they had before.
Critical differences between me and my opponents:
I think it deserves to say that I am the only Democratic candidate currently having children in Stamford Public Schools. My kids graduated from Northeast Elementary School and now attend Turn of River Middle School and Scofield Magnet Middle School.
As a parent, I have a window to schools through the homework my children bring home, the parent-teacher conferences I attend, and the communications I receive from school and district leaders. I have a real sense of urgency about the quality of our schools and the significant impact of BOE decisions on our students, teachers and professors in real time, as I entrust these schools with safety and security every day. education of my children.
I am also the only BOE candidate with deep professional expertise in the field of education. For over two decades, I have worked tirelessly and passionately in roles at all levels of the school system, including as a teacher and school principal. I know how schools work, I know what teachers and professors need, and I know how students learn from my own experience.
I currently work for a nationally respected educational organization and support schools and school districts with strategic planning, teacher recruitment and a variety of other needs.
As a school principal, I was responsible for the safety, welfare and education of hundreds of students each year. I have managed a team of over 50 employees and have been regularly involved with families and the community.
In my current role as an education consultant and leadership coach, I help school and district leaders make complex investment and structural decisions by drawing on research and best practices in the field of education. education, collaborating with stakeholders and sharing information with the community. I know the questions to ask to nurture a culture of accountability and support, and have a deep understanding of what it takes to effectively run schools and districts with graduate students with a range of academic and professional options. .
My knowledge and experience in educational leadership, my ability to collaborate and problem-solve with diverse groups of people, my strategic planning skills, and my personal role as a mother of students currently in the system mean that I approach the discussions and decisions of the BOE from a well-balanced perspective.
Communication: I sincerely believe that the foundation of any strong system is consistent and clear communication, which includes both listening and active engagement. The pandemic has highlighted the need for a diverse, real-time communication plan that ensures all families have timely access to the information they need to support their children.
Here at Stamford, we also need increased opportunities for families and students to provide regular feedback and show these people how their feedback is considered and fed into decision making. As a member of the BOE, I would advocate for inclusive and equitable engagement with students, faculty and staff, families and community partners, so that all perspectives are represented and BOE decisions reflect needs. from the community. I would also advocate for transparency to ensure accountability.
Curriculum: Our current audit of the district curriculum is the first step in ensuring our students have equitable access to rigorous educational materials at all levels and in all schools. As a result of the audit, the district should act quickly to replace outdated and weak material, and provide school staff with appropriate professional development opportunities and resources so that teachers have the tools and training they need. to best meet the needs of all their learners. As a member of the BOE, I would bring my knowledge of best practices in curriculum review and implementation to discussions and decisions regarding curriculum resources.
Collaboration: If we are to bring about transformational and positive change in our district, our BOE will need to partner more closely and effectively – with each other, district, city and community. Too often, decision-making and policies stagnate due to polarizing issues that prevent open dialogue. As a member of the BOE, I will strive to deeply understand multiple issues and perspectives, and bring a solution-oriented mindset to our work together. I would use data and research from the field to support my recommendations and decisions. Being a member of the BOE is a huge responsibility, and I would do an ongoing âlistening visitâ to learn how I can best support students and families from my seat at the table.
What would you want voters to know about you?
Today’s BOE has the opportunity to make significant changes that will impact our students, faculty and staff, and schools for years to come. I am personally invested in the outcome, with two children in the system today, with many years to come as SPS students. At the same time, I have extensive experience in education, a desire to listen and facilitate progress in education as a whole, and a passion to give back to my community in a way that generates results. real and positive.
I truly believe I would provide long term value as a member of the Stamford Public Schools BOE, and I ask anyone with questions about my background, positions, or perspective to contact versha4boe @ gmail. com, and I welcome these conversations as a chance to learn more about SPS and the needs of our students.