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Meet the Candidate: Clare Taylor Neseralla

Clare Taylor Neseralla. Courtesy photo

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the Nov. 2, 2021 municipal election. 

Compiled by Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the candidates running for office in the 2021 municipal election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.

As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 2.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Name: Clare Taylor Neseralla

Age: 60 years old

Party, position seeking: Democrat – West Hartford Board of Education

Family information: I am married to Brian Neseralla and our daughter Faith Neseralla is an 8th grader at Sedgwick. I have two stepsons, Adam and Nick who live in Enfield and Somers.

Other occupation, if applicable: I am the STEM Curriculum Coach at CREC Discovery Academy in Wethersfield and teach students from PreK to 5th grade.

Political experience: This is my first time running for a political office. I have testified numerous times on education issues at state legislative committee meetings.

Other relevant experience: I have been an active community member in West Hartford for over 20 years. I served on the Hello! West Hartford Board as Communications Director and Treasurer as well as the CECA Board (Connecticut Educators Computer Association) as the Treasurer.

Why are you running for office? West Hartford was an incredible town to start my teaching career. I want to pay back my town for the amazing foundation I received and would be honored to serve on the West Hartford Board of Education. I bring extensive experience to the table with my 23 years in education and 20 years in marketing communications.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? I want to help all parents advocate for their children and become active partners in the education process. The special education system can be confusing for many parents and I believe we can do better in empowering and informing parents. In my current job as a STEM Coach, I teach 120 PreK students how to use microscopes, magnets and analyze rocks and minerals. I believe in the power and importance of early learning and will advocate for increasing PreK opportunities in West Hartford schools.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today, and how do you plan to address it if elected? I believe the single most pressing issue facing West Hartford is the learning loss that occurred during the past 18 months of the pandemic. Some students thrived with remote learning but many became disengaged and I fear the achievement gap has widened. I will support the district’s work in adding coaches, support staff, and social workers to meet the learning and social emotional needs of all students. Accelerated learning programs need to address the core elements of each subject and help students progress and master without having to teach everything that was missed.

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? The biggest asset I bring to the table is my many years of teaching experience and my sixteen years working in a West Hartford school. As a teacher, I took my students out into the community to engage in civics and connect with other West Hartford schools. I expanded my own teaching experience and traveled to Japan and Brazil to learn about school systems in other countries. I represented West Hartford and the state in Washington D. C. and won numerous awards for my innovative teaching. I have experience with meeting the needs of students with special needs as well as experience in advocating for my own daughter who has special needs. I also have direct experience with curriculum, special education, technology in the classroom, and initiatives in diversity and inclusion.

Anything else you would like to share? Throughout the pandemic I worked with champion teachers who juggled technology and still connected to each one of their students. West Hartford schools navigated the past year and a half with honesty and grace. This school year, kids are back learning together and staff is staying safe by vaccinating or weekly testing. Wearing masks and being safe will allow our children to get the best education possible.

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