Jodi Breckenridge Petit, vice president Salida Board of Education, is seeking re-election in District 2.
She said she wants to retain her seat because she is a life-long educator and volunteer and the school board is where she can best serve this community.
“Secondly, my skill sets match the needs of a school board,” she said. “Two of our three boys graduated from Salida High School so I have a parent’s perspective.
“I value listening to differing views, finding consensus and improving an already strong organization.
“I do the hard, unsexy work: budgets, expenditures and mill levy overrides. And, on the more inspiring side, I delight in young people learning from talented, committed teachers.”
Her said her short-term focuses are keeping students, faculty and staff safe, continuing in-person instruction and carrying on with collective bargaining to create the best contracts for teachers and staff.
Her long-term goals are to create future-facing graduation requirements, increase Colorado Mountain College trade courses and certificates, find creative solutions to staff shortages and increase interagency effectiveness between the school, the City of Salida and the Salida Police Department.
She said she is accessible, has answered everyone’s questions and has attended many public whistlestops, among them Ark Valley Voice, Salida Business Alliance, Salida Education Association and the Sip and Stitch knitting group.
She said she funded her own campaign and said, “I have the courage to pick up the phone and talk with worried and angry parents and citizens, to attend forums, work through difficult choices with faculty and staff, disagree with the superintendent, and vote different than other board members.
“I do my homework. I helped select the new auditors and tracked their work and I observe long term problems and research now to solve them. Staff housing is one example.”
She has a Ph.D. in teaching and leadership and said leadership in seven school districts has taught her effective ways for students to learn and parents to help.
She said she substitute teaches, facilitates effective communication with Full Circle Restorative Justice and taught English as a second language at Horizons.
She is also an educator for the U.S. joint special operations.
Breckenridge Petit said her volunteerism was forged during twenty plus years serving the soldiers and families of U.S. Army Special Forces where she was a volunteer leader for every unit in which her husband, Brian, served, including nine combat deployments.
“I developed fellow volunteers and supported families during the most difficult of situations, including infant and child deaths, cancer (including my own in 2004), wounded and killed in action incidents,” she said.
She was Volunteer of the Year for Fort Lewis, Washington when 93 percent of the units were deployed and tragedy happened weekly. She also received the Martha Raye Award in 2016 for a lifetime of service to the Special Forces community.
“These skills serve me well as the school board vice president during a pandemic, budget shortfall and community challenges,” Petit said.