Nancy Rioux of Westport is among three candidates for two open seats on the school committee in the April 9 election.
Mrs. Rioux has four children, three of whom attend Westport elementary, middle and high schools, and her oldest step-daughter is a graduate of Westport schools.
She lives with her husband, Kevin Rioux, and their three children, Jeremy, Brendon and Gianna.
In a press release this week, Mrs. Rioux said that as a devoted mother and active participant in her children’s education and interests, she serves as a parent representative on the Westport Elementary School Council and previously served two terms as a secretary on the SWS Youth Hockey Board of Directors. At the time she served as a board member, the league was heavily in debt and in serious danger of becoming insolvent. She worked with the board in many difficult decisions as “they reached their goal of becoming a debt-free league by addressing budgetary issues and conducting vigorous fundraising efforts.”
Mrs. Rioux is currently employed by New Bedford Public Schools where she has worked as a school psychologist for approximately 13 years.
Working in an urban setting, she said she has faced many challenges and understands the importance of working in collaboration with teachers, administrators and families to advocate for the needs of all students. As a school psychologist, she participates in professional development opportunities and training including Response to Intervention (RTI), Psychological First Aid/Post Traumatic Stress Management and her current year long participation in the Universal Design of Learning Academy, which is sponsored in part by DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). Mrs. Rioux also maintains a private practice consulting for clients including Acushnet Public Schools.
Mrs. Rioux said she “believes in addressing all needs of our diverse learners by recognizing the academic as well as the social emotional needs of our youth.”
She said her mission in this campaign is to help provide quality education to all learners. She envisions a district “comprised of innovative schools that invest in data driven initiatives, early learning, a rigorous curriculum and enrichment programming to help prepare our students to excel in either a post secondary institution or the work force … As products of a challenging and innovative school system, students will be more likely to remain in their hometown as professionals, skilled laborers, parents and/or volunteers who will later inspire the next generation with their own invaluable skills and experiences further strengthening our town’s economic base.
She added that she as “demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the community throughout the years, and is eager to share some of the priorities identified and targeted in her upcoming campaign.”