When Rachel Gilliar ran for the Port Washington Board of Education three years ago, she campaigned on a platform of promoting excellence in our district’s classrooms and improving communication between the Board and community. In her first term on the Board, Rachel has pursued these goals with a spirit of determination, collaboration, and civility. We urge Port Washington voters to reelect Rachel Gilliar and approve this year’s proposed budget.
As the director of Camp Invention–a one-week STEM summer camp–Rachel knows the value of educational approaches that encourage innovation and creativity, especially in reaching children with diverse needs, strengths, and learning styles. She has been a strong advocate for the ESTEAM program (formerly known as PEP), which not only serves gifted students in grades 4-6, but also provides invaluable enrichment to all students in grades K-8. When Rachel joined the Board, the District was down to three ESTEAM teachers. Through her efforts, we now have five. Last month, when the District considered making devastating cuts to ESTEAM, Rachel assumed a leadership role in defending the program and finding alternative cuts that would not deprive our children of vital opportunities for project-based learning, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
In her time on the Board, Rachel has worked to improve communication between the Board and the community by creating a Website Task Force to make the District website more informative and easier to navigate, by introducing podcasts of the Board’s committee meetings, and by launching a District Facebook page. At Board meetings Rachel makes it clear that she values community input, respects parental advocacy, and strives to be responsive to both.
Since the school closure, Rachel has advocated for increased contact between students and teachers, understanding that children need the stability and intellectual stimulation that comes from interacting with their teachers and classmates. Whether our children return to in-person learning in the fall, or continue distance learning at home, we need her leadership on the Board of Education. Please return your absentee ballot with a vote for Rachel Gilliar and the budget.
-Kimberly and John Keiserman