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Meet the Candidate: Gayle Harris

Gayle Harris. 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: Gayle Harris

Age: 58

Party, position seeking: Republican endorsed Board of Education candidate

Family information: Mother to 4 amazing children

Other occupation, if applicable: Physician board certified in OB/GYN

Political experience: I’ve worked in healthcare for more than 20 years. I’ve held leadership positions in my children’s schools, my synagogue and in my hospital system.

Other relevant experience: I’ve worked as a DCF mentor for the Village working with youth at risk as they transition out of the DCF program. I work with incarcerated women at York trying to improve healthcare outcomes.

Why are you running for office? I’m running for office because I want to make sure that the West Hartford schools remain excellent moving into the future. We need to focus on teaching our kids the basics of education and focus on making up for lost learning during Covid. I want to ensure that our kids are getting the best education possible in our increasingly competitive world.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? I believe we should focus on keeping our schools safe as crime is increasing in town. I want to make sure we have adequate resources for our children and we are prioritizing spending money in the classrooms. I believe the BOE has become distracted with issues that are not contributing to educating our children. It’s important to keep political agendas out of the classroom and focus on the basics.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today, and how do you plan to address it if elected? One of the biggest issues facing our town is keeping our streets safe and thereby keeping our schools safe. As we watch violence increase in town, we want to be sure we are putting resources towards safety in schools. If children are worried about their physical or mental safety, they cannot learn. We need to create a welcoming safe environment for all our children so they can thrive.

We also are faced with a large learning deficit due to covid. Our primary goal for use of federal funds should be to diminish the learning gap for our students so they can regain lost time and ultimately succeed in life.

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I believe as a medical provider I can bring a unique and valuable perspective to the BOE especially as we contend with Covid and its impact on our schools. As a person of faith, I believe we can create a nurturing educational environment that provides excellence for our students while teaching love of our country.

Anything else you would like to share? I have lived in west Hartford for most of the last 50 years. My parents and daughter still live here. This is a wonderful community, and my family has benefited from the amazing institutions in town. When I am elected to the BOE you can be sure I will work hard to ensure our schools are on the right path and all our children thrive. I will work to make sure we are spending funds wisely and are staying true to our mission of providing education to our students.

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