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Meet Mary-Jane Pazda, Republican Candidate For the Manchester Board of Education

Learn about this candidate for the Manchester Board of Education.

Mary-Jane Pazda. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mary-Jane Pazda
Mary-Jane Pazda. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mary-Jane Pazda
Full name: Mary-Jane Pazda

Education (colleges/degrees):  
  • University of Connecticut:  Doctoral Program (1998-2000); Connecticut Writing Project Fellow (1995) and Advance Fellow (2003; 2006) ; Reading Recovery Trained (1994-95); Administration Certification (1977)
  • 1976:  Central Connecticut State University: Sixth Year Advanced Studies                              
  • 1972:  Eastern Connecticut State University: Masters of Science Degree       
  • 1969:  Trinity College of Vermont:  B.A. English/Secondary  Education minor   
Work: Teacher;  English Language Arts/Reading Consultant; Supervisor of Teaching and Learning; Adjunct Instructor; Educational Consultant.

Why do you want to be on the Manchester Board of Education? This year’s election is about charting a direct course for Academic Excellence. It is about leadership and forging partnerships with all stakeholders around common goals to ensure that all our graduates are college and career ready. Returning to the Board of Education will put my educational leadership skills back to work for Manchester, skills that focus attention on what matters most: our children and their academic progress. This election provides the opportunity to bring student achievement and learning growth to the forefront of the work that is done in our schools. Ensuring success for all students requires clear goals, a shared vision and a welcoming climate of partnership with all stakeholders both directly and indirectly affiliated with our schools. As a result of my career and professional experiences, I know not only what to do, but how to work with a team to get things done: set clear, measurable goals and monitor those goals frequently, publicly and transparently with accountability for results mindful that those interactions between students and teachers are the heart and soul of public education. Additionally, there must be long term strategic planning that seeks input from staff, parents,  residents and town leaders as we move forward to address issues such as the number and grade configuration of schools, facilities upkeep and maintenance, neighborhood, magnet, charter and private schools as well as racial balance and parity between and among schools.  Again, we must keep our students at the heart of any discussion and ask how that decision will impact student learning, the mission of public school education, resulting in a quality education that leads to a quality life with graduates who want to return to Manchester and raise their families.   

What experience do you bring to the table? Mary-Jane Pazda has been a teacher and administrator in public and private schools at the elementary, middle and secondary levels, most recently serving as K-12 Supervisor of Teaching and Learning in the Wethersfield Public Schools.  Her expertise is in the areas of curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on K-12 literacy development.  Mrs. Pazda provided leadership across all curricula; ongoing professional development, supervision and evaluation of teachers and staff; and oversight and programmatic support for Title I, NCLB, SRBI and English Language Learners. Mrs. Pazda has taught undergraduate and graduate students at public and private colleges and supervised student teachers for the University of Connecticut.  She worked with the Connecticut State Department of Education developing the fourth generation of the Connecticut State Mastery Test and NCLB curriculum and assessment alignment and now works with teachers to write curriculum aligned with the Common Core State Standards.  Mrs. Pazda has presented workshops on topics related to literacy at the local, state and national levels and was the 2002-2003 recipient of the prestigious Nicholas Criscuolo Reading Award for Administrators from the Connecticut Reading Association. Since retiring in June of 2008, Mrs. Pazda continues teaching English at Manchester Community College and works as a consultant to Connecticut school districts.  Mrs. Pazda has served as an elected member on the Manchester Board of Education (208-2011) where she worked with her colleagues to ensure quality leadership at high levels, implemented equity in Professional Development K-12, developed a data survey to ascertain how well schools are meeting the needs of their clients and developed a policy and process for closing schools.  Mrs. Pazda is also a Justice of the Peace. 

What do you think the town's most pressing issue is? What is the biggest issue facing BOE?  The simple answer is student achievement and academic excellence.  Obviously given Manchester’s performance over the last years there is nothing simple about it, but academic excellence is and must be attainable if we are to provide a world class education that allows our students to compete in today’s world.  This election provides the opportunity to bring student achievement and learning growth to the forefront of the work that is done in our schools. Ensuring success for all students requires clear goals, a shared vision and a welcoming climate of partnership with all stakeholders both directly and indirectly affiliated with our schools.  What happens daily in the classroom is the single most import factor affecting student leaning.  Therefore it is critical that we support the teaching staff such that they have the tools they need:  a rigorous curriculum, assessment practices for informing instruction and monitoring progress, a clear understanding of and ability to successfully implement the Common Core State Standards adopted in 2010 by Connecticut, and professional development as needed.  These Common Core Standards will form the basis for Connecticut’s new assessment which will take the place of the Connecticut State Mastery Test in 2014-2015 and is a much more challenging assessment.  As a result of my career and professional experiences, I know not only what to do, but how to work with a team to get things done: set clear, measurable goals and monitor those goals frequently, publicly and transparently with accountability for results….keep the focus on student achievement…the heart and soul of public education.     

What do you love most about Manchester public schools? I love the diversity and resilience of the student population, the parents and families who are striving to ensure that their children have the best of educations.  I am also enamored with a hard working staff that has the responsibility to find the path to meet the needs of all our children.  

What do you like to do for fun? Visit my five beautiful grandchildren, ages 1-6, in Atlanta GA and Portland OR. Play golf. Read spy novels. Exercise at the Senior Center. Marry couples. Spend time with Alex, my husband. 

How can residents keep up with you? Email address? Website? Facebook page? Twitter? Instagram? Etc. Telephone:  860-649-7985. Cell: 860-805-4081. Email:mjdpazda@sbcglobal.net. Facebook Page. 

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