Note: In the days leading up to Election Day, the Ledyard Patch will run short profiles of all town candidates for council and board of education, along with their responses to three questions that we asked. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Name: Rebecca Graebner
Education: BA – History, BA – International Studies (1988, University of West Florida); Master’s in Library & Information Studies (1997, University of Oklahoma)
Work Experience: Library Technical Assistant, Groton Public Schools – 2007-present; Pre-School Teacher, United Methodist Child Care Center – 2001-2005; have also worked as a Reference Archivist and Reference Librarian in the 1990’s
Civic/Political Experience: Current activity- Ledyard Library Commission – currently Chair; Ledyard Democratic Town Committee – Vice-Chair; Reynolds for Change – Campaign Manager; GFS/JWL PTO-member
Past activity – Co-founder Ledyard Citizens for Education; Bill Library Building Addition Committee; Instructional Council – Ledyard Board of Education; and Ledyard Women’s Club.
Two terms Ledyard Town Council
Family: Married – Glen, 3 children- Sam, Hannah (LHS graduates) & Emma (JWL)
1. Why are you running for this office?
Education is the business in Ledyard, and we do an amazing job with our business. There is hard work coming in the next few years in order for our students to continue on the successful path that they have been on. I want to work with our teachers, support staff, administrators and students to continue making good choices that support this success. I want to keep our residents invested in the success of our students.
2. What do you believe is the greatest challenge Ledyard schools face today, and what would you do to meet this challenge?
In the next few years both State and Federal education requirements will significantly increase the expectations of achievement for our children. However, financial support for these increased educational expectations more than likely will not be adequately covered by State or Federal funds. Instead it will need to come from the town. Communicating the needs of our students to Ledyard residents is of paramount importance for Board of Education members. I would work to increase the network of education stakeholders in our town. Technology has made communicating so much easier and I would work to set up online forums and use media outlets like Ledyard Patch, to increase the amount of accurate information delivered to our residents. Informed residents become invested in our student’s excellence, which in turn has a positive impact on the prosperity of our town, because the success of our town is directly related to the quality of our educational system.
3. How would you rate the performance of the current board overall, and what, if anything, would you do differently?
The current Ledyard Board of Education has done a tremendous job. Under the leadership of Board Chair, Sharon Hightower, the Board has worked well with the Town Council to present sound fiscally responsible budgets, while maintaining high standards of achievement for our students. One area that can always stand tweaking is communication. As I have stated, communicating about the needs of our students and how it relates to the viability of our town is essential. Increasing the number of residents who are committed to Ledyard maintaining its academic excellence is crucial.