I’m Jaci Reynolds. I own two local small businesses and I have children at two district schools. I served on this board in 2021 and 2022 and we got some important work done. After a year away, I have gained more insight from lots of community members on what their expectations of our board are and I will bring that back with me.
What unique perspectives would you bring to the board if elected?
I am an Abenaki woman, and I grew up in poverty. I am also a person who has to work incredibly hard to make ends meet. And finally, I have a child with a disability. I believe that all of these perspectives bring great value to the board.
Did you have a good experience with your own education?
I had an excellent public school education. Unfortunately due to life circumstances, college wasn’t an option for me. But I was blessed to be able to take AP classes in high school and I feel that I got a lot out of my education. However, I also have to say that sports were very important to me and I was absolutely a part of a toxic jock-ocracy. Rather than feeling shame about it, I spend my adulthood trying to ensure that any kids around me know that their interests and goals are of equal value, regardless of how a particular click of people may tend to overly value athletes.
Do you think Brattleboro students are getting a high-quality education? Why or why not?
Looking at the statistical data, we need to do better. Funding is an issue and I hope to see some movement with the rollout of the UVM weighting study. We also have a high incidence of students in special education. And I am NOT saying that they are not successful. But I am saying that we need more appropriate resources and training to help them succeed.
There was a time when Brattleboro held teacher exams and the public could attend. Do you think the community knows enough about teacher qualifications in 2023?
I am not sure that the public knows anything about teacher qualifications, although I do trust our Superintendent to properly vet candidates. If this information were available to the public I would love to see it. As a board member I am sure that I can find out. But before we have a conversation about more stringent qualifications for teachers, we’d better be having a conversation about their pay because it’s frankly disgusting that our most valuable community members are so grossly underpaid.
Should there be any limits on what books or materials students may have access to? Why or why not?
I do not support any books that present religion as if it is factual. And I think that age appropriate book choices are important.
What educational theories or learning styles interest you?
Universal Design for Learning is so smart and intuitive and I am so thrilled to see more of it in our district.
Per pupil spending near $20k a year, and it won’t be long before four years of high school is $100k. Thoughts?
This is partly a result of being a small community, which makes your per pupil cost higher. But I feel good about our budget and the high level of fiscal responsibility demonstrated by Frank Rucker and our Central Office Staff. When we spend that much it’s because it’s needed.
Can you recommend any good books or movies?
Pushed, by Jennifer Block is the most important book I have ever read. She does a beautiful job explaining the dangers of birth being medicalized rather than being treated as a natural process.
Is there any thing you’d like to discuss that we didn’t ask you about?
I would urge any families interested in joining our district’s SEPAC (special education parent advisory committee) to please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can tell you all about it.
Thanks for taking time with iBrattleboro.com