WATERTOWN — Kelly S. Bragger wanted to run for Watertown school board to help represent her son, offer diversity, and support teachers and staff.
She is a graduate of the Jefferson Leadership Institute and through the program, she said she knows how important it is for participants to be on a board or to volunteer their time.
Ms. Bragger, 46, has a son at North Elementary School.
“I want to represent my son, and the parents, teachers, and I just thought with a new superintendent that it’s kind of like a nice fresh start for the city of Watertown,” she said.
She currently works at MVP Healthcare, where she is an individual product adviser for Jefferson and Lewis counties.
Ms. Bragger said she would like to see more support for teachers and staff.
“I think they are short-staffed and we need to find a way to hire more teachers if they’re out there,” she said.
Kids leaving the county for college and not coming back to teach is something else Ms. Bragger would like to address.
She said she would like to be an advocate for parents, teachers, and staff.
Being a gay parent, with a background in education, she said she could offer diversity.
“I offer diversity to a board that I feel is not very diverse,” she said.
She has had people come up to her recently at an event and thank her for running as a gay mom, she said.
“I was actually blown away, I felt valued,” she said. “Because obviously, maybe that’s a population that parents don’t feel heard.”
She said she personally has never had any issues with the school district with her son having two moms.
Overall, she said she would like to see more funds go to staff, as well as updates to some of the schools.
“I am a believer in our community,” she said. “I want us to be proud of our city, of our city school district.”
She said she has heard from the community that the school district is good for elementary schools, but that something needs to be done at Case Middle School and Watertown High School.
“I want to know why that’s happening,” she said. “I want us to be proud of the school district, not just our elementary schools. We need to do something for Case and our high school so that people want to stay in our community.”
Ms. Bragger said she will do her best to hear the needs of the community, teachers and staff.
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