As we approach what promises to be among the most intriguing and important general elections in recent memory, WhatsUpNewp will be exploring races throughout Newport County and statewide. We will leave the presidential campaign to the major networks.
Already we have seen some upheaval in the primary election, where progressives defeated some incumbents, including some who hold major positions in the legislature.
Just as intriguing are races for council and school committee from Jamestown to Little Compton.
As we did in the primary election, we will be providing stories, interviewing candidates via our videocasting, and posting surveys from candidates who responded to our request. If you are a candidate and have not received a questionnaire, please contact What’sUpNewp or Frank Prosnitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we continue with our candidate profiles with Stephanie Winslow, candidate for Newport School Committee.
Current office (if none, please note none. Please note when elected initially, ex: Town Council, 1964): Newport School Committee 03/2020 – present
Previous political/government elected offices held, and years: n/a
Previous or current appointed government positions (including boards and commissions): Appointed to Newport School Committee on March 13, 2020.
Political Party Affiliation in 2020: School Committee is non-partisan
Previous political party affiliation if different from above: n/a
Previous elective political positions sought, year and outcomes: n/a
If applicable: As an incumbent, I am most proud of:
I was sworn in on March 13, 2020, just hours before Governor Raimondo closed all Rhode Island schools. I have spent the last six months getting up to speed on the procedures, business, and past work of the school committee to become a contributing member of the team, all under the stress of COVID-19. I’m also working full time, launching my very first campaign, and continuing to work on the school construction bond effort. It has been exhausting and unsettling at times. Being pushed this hard has its benefits though. I’ve been able to successfully manage all of these commitments and have no doubt I can continue the intense dedication the school committee role requires.
Also, this summer I challenged the school committee to explore writing an antiracism policy. They genuinely embraced the idea and we have begun studying the topic together. I hope our efforts will result in a comprehensive policy that defines the areas we want to focus on to bring more equity and opportunity to our students, especially the Black and Latinx populations in our schools. I think more and more Americans, especially white Americans, are finally ready for this work. I also believe this is the key to improving outcomes for many students.
If elected my three top goals are:
1 – Improve the experience and outcomes for our marginalized students – who are mostly Black and Latinx. All kids deserve to have a positive experience in Newport Public Schools, just like I and many of my friends did. We have to: Break down the systemic barriers (policies and attitudes) that are hindering progress. Re-educate adults to become antiracist, embrace and value the different cultures around them. Enable Black and Latinx students and parents to have active roles in decision making processes. Create an environment for students and their parents that restores trust in the school system, and belief in themselves and their potential to do great things.
2 – Pass the school construction bond in November and hire the best architect we can to turn our vision into reality in the post COVID19 world. Pell is overcrowded and needs space so that universal Pre-K can be accommodated. Rogers High School will become a state of the art building, integrating traditional subjects with the accredited, award-winning Newport Area Career and Technical Center. Newport must support this education asset and the opportunity it provides our students! Warm, safe, dry, modern schools are a right, not a reward.
3 – Build community support for Newport Public Schools. People are quick to repeat misinformation and assumptions, but slow to get involved. This apathy is dangerous to our schools and long term hopes for Newport. A well-planned communications strategy is necessary to engage people from all walks of life in this city. We have so many talented and caring adults who can contribute in so many different ways, from donating time and resources to just spreading good news or words of encouragement. It takes a village to raise a child; let’s come together for our students!
Employment and Education
My current employment, including title, is: Database Developer at Magellan Rx Management, Middletown, RI.
Schools and degrees:
Newport Public Schools (High School Diploma, 1999)
Boston University (Bachelor of Arts, History, 2003)
Community College of Rhode Island (Certificate, Computer Programming, 2013)
Professional organizations, please note leadership positions: n/a
Awards of recognitions associated with work: n/a
Non-profit community organization affiliations and any leadership positions:
Past volunteer for The Newport Music Festival and The Potter League for Animals
Current member of One Newport and active in local United States Masters Swimming groups.
Awards of recognition associated with volunteer work: n/a