What I Bring - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1700659

What I Bring

As an educational advocate, parent and proud member of this community, I would be honored to serve on the Sag Harbor School Board.

Originally from England, I have lived in the USA for more than 20 years, on the East End for 11 years, and Sag Harbor has been our home for eight years. I have three children at the school, and apart from being a proud mom, I have been actively involved by serving on the board of the Sag Harbor Elementary School PTA and was part of the campaign against toxic turf. I enjoyed organizing water testing workshops for the school in collaboration with Surfrider Foundation, Eastern Long Island Chapter’s Blue Water Task Force.

If voted onto the board, I plan to promote increased environmental science and renewable-energy projects to expose students to the fastest-growing industry in the country and investigate energy sustainability at the school.

I founded a nonprofit organization to increase literacy levels in New York State by bringing the science of reading and writing into the classrooms. Last year, I testified in Albany and have been an active educational advocate at the school, organized professional development for teachers and psychologists via the Peconic Teachers Center, and have served on the board of East End Special Education PTO.

In my work as an educational advocate, I have witnessed the shocking emotional and financial implications for students who, through no fault of their own, have not received science-based, explicit educational instruction and are in crisis. Low literacy levels are not confined to special education students; 52 percent of general education students read below grade level.

If elected, I will encourage support for teachers so they have the tools to improve achievement levels for all students, including those with learning disabilities, without straining the budget. I will investigate spending by requesting an itemized budget breakdown and cross-checking this with actual results.

I have a bachelor’s degree with honors in Environmental Studies and was voted onto the board of the Sierra Club Long Island Group, where I served for three years as environmental chair and delegate for New York State. Currently, I am on the Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee.

Good decision-making hinges on fiscal transparency, accountability, collaborating with others, and having foundational principles centered in science-based evidence. The board needs someone with my experience to help guide student achievement, and bring fiscal responsibility and green initiatives to the district.

As an advocate for science-based literacy strategies and sustainable initiatives, I am committed to building an exceptional school, where students experience confidence, joy and success, where they will retain the skills that will support them through college and in their future careers.

Thank you for your vote, and stay safe.

Helen Roussel

Sag Harbor

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