New Canaan resident Jennifer Richardson is seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party for re-election to the Board of Education. We put some questions to the incumbent about her candidacy. Our exchange follows.
New Canaanite: Tell us about yourself—how long have you lived in New Canaan, what have you been involved with here in town and what led you to your decision to seek re-election?
Jennifer Richardson: My name is Jennifer Richardson and I am running for re-election onto the Board of Education. I moved to New Canaan in 1983 and am a graduate of New Canaan High School. I returned to New Canaan in 1998 after my husband and I, Tom, were married. I am a mother of three NCHS graduates and have a junior daughter at New Canaan High School. I have served on the BOE for two terms (2013-present) and am hopeful that I will be re-elected in order to continue to work and support our schools and community. Prior to my position on the BOE, I was the Saxe Middle School PTC President (2011-2013) and have been an active member of our High School PFA with positions including Post Prom Co-Chair (2x), New to New Canaan HS Co-Chair (twice), and New Canaan Scholarship Foundation Color Run Co-Chair (twice). In addition to the high school PFA, I am an active volunteer at our church, Food Rescue US and am a National Charity League Grade Level advisor. I am seeking re-election on the board because I love our town. I grew up here and have loved raising my family here. I care deeply about our public schools and our beautiful town and want to give back to the community that has given me so much. I am engaged in many different aspects of our town and believe that my breadth of experience and knowledge will benefit the board in making decisions going forward.
What have been your biggest contributions to the elected body for which you are seeking GOP endorsement at the July 20 caucus?
When I first joined the BOE in 2013, we diligently worked on increasing transparency and communication to the community. I helped create and form the Communication Committee to help facilitate this goal of transparency and have been a member since its inception. Through this committee we developed the BOE liaison role in the schools, restructured the district website, as well as continually improve communications to all constituents. Additionally, I have served 5 years-plus as board secretary which entails agenda planning, attending bi-weekly meetings and writing/circulating the minutes for board meetings. Most recently I served on the COVID reopen committee. As everyone knows, the past couple years have been extremely challenging with COVID and I am proud of all the work that went into keeping our schools open and safe.
What is your vision for the elected position/body for which you are seeking re-election?
I am excited at the prospect of serving on the board for another 4 years. Being a current member of the BOE, I offer consistency, leadership and experience. I am well informed on how our district works and have the knowledge and experience to make decisions to maintain excellence in our schools. I envision the newly elected board to continue to work together, listen and respect others views, and work to make our schools the best they can be. I have a unique and broad perspective having served on the board for eight years, having grown up in this town, and having children of my own that have graduated and are still in our public school system. I would be honored to continue in this role.
[Editor’s Note: Between June 28 and July 9, NewCanaanite.com is publishing Q&As with local Republicans seeking party endorsement for elected offices in contested races at the July 20 GOP caucus. We will publish letters of endorsement for the Republican caucus and Democratic endorsement meeting through July 9. Comments are disabled on this post.]