Jodi Hardwick is looking to join the Wiscasset School Committee

Address: 36 Montsweag Valley Road, Wiscasset ME 04578

Occupation: Registered Clinical Social Worker

Education: Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, bbachelor of arts in Social Work, 2004; University of New England, Portland, MAgraduate degree in ssocial wwork2006

Political history (Council, committees, others): nothing

Clubs/Organizations: National Association of Social Workers, Wiscasset Elementary School Partners in Education, Feed Our Scholars Success Program Set 4, Wiscasset Female Charitable Society

Considering the Desk you are running for, what do you think are the three most pressing issues (350 words or less): Three of the most pressing issues facing the Wiscasset School Board are enrollment, full school district funding to retain staff and improve infrastructure, and positively addressing the lingering effects of a pandemic on staff, students and families.

The Wiscasset School District has continually experienced declining enrollment, which impacts state/federal funding as well as programs and opportunities for students. There are no simple solutions to declining enrollment due to many factors in our communities that impact this issue, such as the lack of affordable housing for families and an aging population. Another factor may be high teacher turnover. WSD teacher compensation is not competitive with that of other local school districts that also provide technology and other instructional materials that are lacking within WSD. Improving staff turnover, engaging in effective communication, and improving partnerships with parents and the community can help improve perceptions of the value of WSD education and attract new families to the community.

The Wiscasset School Board has an obligation to the citizens of the City of Wiscasset, its students, and the school’s more than 100 employees to advocate appropriately for salary and resource funding. The committee also has the difficult task of balancing potentially increasing tax demands on an aging population. Educators must have the resources to provide the education children deserve. This includes having the necessary support staff, safe facilities to support learning, and support for behavioral and socio-emotional needs.

School is often a source of stability for students and their families, but this balance has been interrupted due to the pandemic.This instability caused added stress in addition to pre-existing risk factors for example income inequality, food safety, quality nurserywhich has had an additional impact on everyone’s mental health during the pandemic. The importance of continuing to meet the social and emotional needs of students and staff is paramount. With rising rates of community violence and suicide, we cannot ignore the vital role that mental health and emotional intelligence play in an academic setting.

Do you have any other ideas about why you run or what you can bring to the office? (150 words or less): Like a local parent and clinical social worker who has worked in school systems, I think i would have bring a unique touch perspective to our school committee. Mthere lives will be be an asset to WSD, how adept I am at leading respectfully, complex conversations to work towards solution-oriented results.

My goal as a school member of the committee will be to work with all stakeholders at identify factors in the school district that may to improve any the academic, social and emotional success of students and encourage the creation of partnerships with parents and community members. Hhave work professionally on interdisciplinary teams, I to know importance to include all stakeholders when driving change. This includes hblossom at raise ststudent voice at school council meetings. To communicate with me, feel free to find me on Facebook @Hardwick4Wiscasset or by email