Jamie Brooks


Political platform statement

Why I am running for this office: As a young girl, I watched my father James Uriel Sousa, originally a Bristolian, serve the town of Warren as a councilman. He taught me the importance of serving your community. That's was instilled in me and so now I am seeking that opportunity to serve. I was inspired to run for School Committee because I had been a lone voice and felt like one parent trying to make a difference. That path can be lonely and defeating at times. I want Bristol to be a great place to work, live and raise a family. I think we are that but if we want to attract people to live in our community, and to bring new business to our community, then we have to be a solid school district that ranks in the top of our State. We can and we will get there but it isn't without hard work, dedication and determination. I am inspired to run and be a part of that change.

Education/Profession: I have a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Providence College and a Master's in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Although I grew up here, I married a Navy man and we lived in California, Maine, Connecticut, Florida and Iceland. I taught in the US Military School in Iceland for a period of time, while we were stationed there. I have a strong background in Healthcare Administration and served as the Director for the Patient Experience at RI Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital. One of my specialities is Customer Service which is why I am a huge proponent of being sure we are always working to meet the needs of our children, families and teachers. I have written and operated grants as large as $4M successfully.

In the last 5 years, I have specialized in Elder Care, assisting the most vulnerable population with case management services (social work). I am also a Certified Dementia Practioner. I have worked in the for profit and not-for- profit industries. I have successful managed budgets as large as $14M. Finally, I have worked in environments with collective bargaining units and understand how unions work. I have been at the negotiation table and successfully avoided potential strikes. These professional experiences coupled with my unique family experiences make me an ideal candidate for BWRSD School Committee. I have always been and will continue to be that person that is not afraid to ask the difficult questions and what has made me a successful leader in my career. My leadership style, which has served me well in my career is one that is open and communicative.

Position statement 1: Accountability on all levels- Recognizing our strengths and identifying our opportunities is key to everything we do as a district, be it the School Committee, the various building administrations, parents, teachers, coaches, and students. I would like to see the School Committee do a in-depth SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) around our goals and outcomes, how we identify and manage finances, how we prepare the district for what is to come in the future, how our teachers managing in changing times, how our parents are engaging children at home and how our students take ownership and be accountable for their role in the educational experience.

Position statement 2: FORWARD MOVEMENT - We need to prepare students for the future. This includes developing creative ways to educate students both in the classroom and out of the classroom. Preparing our students for the job market without a 4 year degree will be important for some of our student body. I'd like to develop courses and or opportunities to expose students to alternate post-educational and/or employment options. Yes, exposure to the trades. At one time not too long ago, Bristol had an Industrial Arts Program that included exposure to the building or maritime trades. We need to understand and bring a modern approach to this. Our current school committee is trying to bring this back and I want to support that goal by playing an active role in identifying new and exciting opportunities for our kids.

Position statement 3: COLLABORATION There are so many opportunities for our district to collaborate. That could be with corporations, small businesses, universities, and non-profits to name a few. This past year, my son was involved in a mentoring pilot with MHHS and Raytheon. It was a great experience despite the pandemic putting a wrench into the original plan. It is this type of collaboration that will be key to that forward movement mentioned above being successful. Often times departments compete for resources and it is a win-loose scenario. I would like to see us move towards a win-win in as many outcomes as possible. I think the development a Co-Op program with Roger Williams University's School of Education to provide after school support to all MHHS students who want or need it. Such a program would be a win-win as it provides teaching experience to Ed students at the University as well as support for our HS students who are in need of tutoring.

Position statement 4: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION - Our community needs to have a better understanding of Diversity and Inclusion. One way to is develop a curriculum of awareness and inclusion. It will help both students and faculty be sensitive and aware of the multitude of differences that make up our student body, administration and faculty. This is already in the works and I am happy to be a new member of the large team working on this endeavor. I would also like to develop a parent program. It starts at home and it would be nice to be able to have an impact on our youngest students by starting with parental support to do that. Finally, a mentorship program where our HS students go to our Middle School students and engage in meaningful dialogue about diversity, inclusion and racism, on a regular basis.