Opinion: ID-4 candidate shares story

Greetings! I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who do not know me. My name is Elaine Orozco Hammond and I am running for the ID-4 (Mary Hogan) school board.
Along with our three young children, my husband, Chris, and I moved to Middlebury almost three years ago from the busy Washington, D.C., area. We were looking for a way to slow down and enrich our children’s lives, while getting truly involved in our community. For the past couple years, Chris has helped coach youth basketball for the town while I have volunteered at Mary Hogan in various ways, including reading in the classroom, chaperoning field trips, counting minutes for the Read-a-Thon, and assistant coaching Girls on the Run, an athletic youth development program for girls in third-fifth grade. Entering the school board race is a meaningful way to get even more involved in Middlebury.
My three children attend Mary Hogan (first, fifth, and sixth grades) and I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of its teachers, staff, administration and programming. I am a big fan of public education, and am also a proud product (I attended public elementary, middle and high schools, as well as state institutions for my undergraduate and law degrees).
My background, along with my children’s experience and what I have seen first-hand in the school, has shaped my views about what is important for Mary Hogan students. In addition, I have served for seven years as the part-time executive director of the Abramson Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping low-income youth attend college (most of whom are the first in their families to do so). It is imperative to me that we attempt to equalize the playing field for Mary Hogan children while balancing the value of introducing new and exciting opportunities to ALL of our children.
I have seen first-hand how encouraging and nurturing young people, who might not otherwise receive that support, really can make a difference and positively impact the community as a whole. If elected, I would effectively support Mary Hogan’s socioeconomically diverse student body, while paying close attention to residents’ and taxpayers’ concerns.
I have over 10 years of practical experience serving on and facilitating boards and committees. My board experience includes my Abramson work with over 30 board members, serving as president and development chair of a cooperative nursery school, and as a member of a community board. My committee experience ranges from heading a PTA committee focused on school enrichment opportunities, to sitting on both a diversity committee and a police and civilian relations committee. In addition, I have worked for two labor unions, which allowed me to see how groups of people that are inherently diametrically opposed to each other find common ground.
Because of my broad personal and professional experience, I feel confident in my ability to work with a group of people with assorted and varying opinions and ideas. If elected, I would do my best to work with school administrators and the board, building upon their many years of strong leadership. Mary Hogan teachers, assistants, staff, administrators and ID-4 board members tirelessly work together for our children and, for this, I thank you.
I hope you will consider voting for me on Tuesday, March 3. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I am excited and humbled for the opportunity to run for the important position of ID-4 board member. Thank you for your time.
Elaine Orozco Hammond

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