Meet the candidates for the Portsmouth School Board

Ahead of the 2022 general election, the Newport Daily News contacted the candidates via emails filed with the Board of Elections to find out more about their candidacy.

All applicants answered the same questions with a limit of 450 words per question and were given two weeks to respond. The responses can be seen below without editing to ensure voters are reading the candidates’ own words.

virgin sondra

Did not respond.

Frederick W. Faerber III

Position running for: Portsmouth School Board

Current office held (if any): Portsmouth School Committee (10 years) and Portsmouth Water & Fire District (13 years)

Occupation: Executive Recruiter

What makes you the best candidate for the job you are looking for?

As a member of the current school board for nearly 10 years, I believe I have contributed significantly to the growth of excellence in our school district, which is generally considered the third best in the state. (Our science program is ranked #1 in RI.) I wish it was the best, and we’ve worked hard at it, but there’s still a long way to go. As an executive recruiter, CPA, former banker (Citicorp) and management consultant (Price Waterhouse & KPMG Peat Marwick), I believe these experiences have served the school district well, improving its efficiency, fiscal integrity and transparency. as well as increasing academic excellence. . I am also a member and past treasurer of the RI School Boards Association, which provides enhanced education advocacy for all public school districts and professional development opportunities for all school board members.

My two children are products of a public upbringing and it has served them very well.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the Portsmouth school system and how would you approach improving the situation?

Rigorous educational excellence to prepare graduates for whatever projects they choose, safety and security, support for children with special needs, and the maintenance and upgrading of school facilities. School safety is of critical importance and we have been at the forefront of RI, dramatically improving school safety for all students.

We have enhanced our course offerings in STEAM-related courses in the belief that most future careers will require familiarity with these skills. Graduates may have several job changes in their life and I think we should try to provide them with the best educational tools to allow them to adapt. Even graduates who choose not to go to college may later change their minds and should graduate without requiring remedial training later. It is also very important to maintain and establish a relationship of trust with the municipal council and the ratepayers, which we have done. A strong school district maintains and enhances property values

Isabelle Kelly

Position in the running for: school committee

Office currently held: Portsmouth School Committee

Job: Operations Manager

What makes you the best candidate for the job you are looking for?

Having served on the Portsmouth School Board for two years, I already know the processes and responsibilities, which would allow me to serve effectively from day one of my new term. Additionally, as a parent of school-aged children, I want to do everything possible to ensure that every child in Portsmouth receives an equitable, quality public school education.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the Portsmouth school system and how would you approach improving the situation?

I think providing thorough and effective mental health support is an extremely important issue that all schools are grappling with now, especially since the pandemic began.

In order to properly educate the entire student body, mental health issues must be addressed with appropriate resources and support.

It was these concerns that led me to become Chair of the Health and Wellness Sub-Committee, a role I hope to continue.

Emilie Skeehan

Position running for: Portsmouth School Board

Current tenure (if applicable):

Occupation: Marine Scientist

Emilie Skeehan

What makes you the best candidate for the job you are looking for?

As a graduate of the public school system and a mother of a school district child, I have a vested interest in ensuring a high quality education for our community. It is important to me to ensure that all children receive the best possible education. One that provides opportunities fairly and emphasizes STEM, hands-on experiential learning, and social emotional resilience. As a marine scientist, I hope the district will build on the success of the AgInnovation Farm, the Melville Outdoor Classroom, and the strong high school science and math curriculum to ensure that our students are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. I have worked at the local, state, federal, and international levels of government, as well as in the private and nonprofit sectors. I hope to bring my interdisciplinary background and creativity to the Portsmouth School Board and serve on the Policy Sub-Committee.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing the Portsmouth school system and how would you approach improving the situation?

To address the mental health crisis, we need innovation and additional resources to support social and emotional learning. Students cannot be successful learners without emotional intelligence, which depends on cultural responsiveness and understanding one’s own feelings and the emotions of others. As part of building equitable schools, teachers, administrators, and students need to develop emotional literacy skills so that everyone is more receptive to learning. Additionally, I want to advocate for effective government and community oversight so that there is accountability in our schools.