Jen Benham Announces Candidacy for School Committee

Courtesy of Jen Benham

Submitted by: Jen Benham

March 11, 2020

I am excited to announce that I am running for a seat on the Hingham School Committee. My husband Frank and I have lived in Hingham for 13 years and have three children. Our children attend Hingham Public Schools with one each in elementary, middle and high school. I am running because I want to use my experience as an educator and a parent-leader to help meet and set new goals for our school district and serve as a voice who represents the values and beliefs of our town.

My mother was an educator and inspired me to become a special education teacher serving students with moderate to intensive special needs. In that role, I worked with students, parents and administrators. It was this experience that helped me to better learn how to listen, and to work collaboratively toward solutions that best meet student needs.

As an active member of the Hingham community, I have channeled my passion for education into serving as the President of South Elementary School PTO. Last year I was elected as a parent representative on the Middle School Council, and I also currently serve as a freshman Class Parent at Hingham High School. Previously, I served two terms as Treasurer for South School PTO and four years on the PTO Board of Directors, and I participated as one of three PTO representatives in the Hingham Superintendent search process.  Since 2016, I have co-chaired the Get Smart About Art Program at South School and have enjoyed co-teaching a series of in-class art workshops.

Through my work within the Hingham community, I have enjoyed working alongside a diverse group of volunteers, students, educators and community members. Hingham has a strong school system and I want to use my experience to continue to build on that and support our students, educators and town. If elected to the School Committee, I will work tirelessly to offer the best educational opportunities for all Hingham students.

My three main priorities are to advocate for the following: more STEM readiness, equal opportunity for success in the classroom, and program growth across the Fine Arts Department.

I will put forth great effort to ensure that every student is ready for success in a world where science and technology skills are increasingly important. The district has made great strides within our elementary level STEM programs.  I will advocate to improve our district goals by expanding and strengthening our STEM programming with a focus on our secondary schools.

Another priority of mine is to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity for success in the classroom. For those students who require support in order to meet the learning expectation, we need to develop more programs that provide personalized learning.  Our district has great MCAS scores but there are groups of students in the middle that require more specialized support. We need to prioritize the necessary support for those students.

Finally, I will advocate for a cohesive Fine Arts Department by supporting the addition of a Fine Arts Director. The arts are integral to all aspects of learning, and I plan to support our district as we improve and expand our fine arts program, especially at the high school level. We need to ensure that all of our students have access to an arts curriculum that meets the Commonwealth’s new standards for arts.

I want to make a positive difference for our community and our students and I would love to have your support on Saturday, May 2nd.

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