In a recent conversation with an aspiring superintendent, the conversation turned to the importance of the relationship between the Board of Education and the superintendent. I shared that when the relationship the two is strong, the potential for truly serving students increases. I also spoke of the unique role of the Board Chair. The conversation prompted for me multiple memories of Jane Garibay, President of the Windsor Board of Education, when I began as Superintendent of the Windsor Public Schools in July, 2002. I recall how hard Jane worked to help me succeed as a brand new superintendent. I also recall her style of leading the Board of Education, willing to work “across the aisles” always keeping the needs of all students in the forefront.
In the four years Jane served on the Board and as Board Chair, so much was accomplished. Some examples are:
- Before and After School programs being established in each of the elementary schools – the “Treehouse” program,
- Family Resource Centers opening in the four elementary schools by 2004 with costs covered by income from the Treehouse programs,
- Representation of students of color significantly increasing in honors and AP courses, National Honor Society, student recognitions.
- WPS participating in the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) around race and achievement, with Jane wholeheartedly supporting our involvement and being a catalyst for getting other Board members to participate in MSAN professional development,
- The Board of Education endorsing full-day kindergarten, and though it would take several more years before full-day kindergarten was realized, the groundwork was lain.
- A more rigorous extra-curricular eligibility policy established by the Board,
- The Board supporting holding school on Veterans Day with a commitment by administration to honor veterans annually in all of the schools. Windsor became a model for other communities.
While Jane was Board Chair, she was also the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. In that role she worked continually in support of the schools, for example:
- Developing Businesses Fueling Minds, a program that partnered businesses with teachers to give them a firsthand experience at work sites to see what was being expected of students when hired,
- Being the catalyst for getting realtors to come to Realtors Breakfasts to learn of the quality programs at Windsor High School. I recall so many of the realtors commenting afterward, “I had no idea of the opportunities offered students at Windsor High School,
- Involving students and staff, including me, in major Chamber events, e.g., Chili Festival, Nightmare on Broad St (Haunted House), Windsor Quiz Show and Family Feud.
Shortly after Jane stepped down from the Board of Education, she started the Windsor Education Foundation (WEF) as a vehicle for supporting Windsor Public Schools. WEF, with the support of countless businesses and individuals, contributed annually to the schools in the form of scholarships, grants for classroom teachers, and resources for the schools. Jane also became involved with Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (PSEE) becoming a trainer of parents to enable them to become leaders and change agents in education.
In thinking back on the years Jane Garibay served on the Board of Education and as Board Chair, I think of how fortunate her leadership was for the Windsor schools and the Windsor community, as well as for me as Superintendent.
I have the pleasure of knowing Jane Garibay for 34 years. You would be correct in saying, “that’s a long time,” but I had the advantage of being her son.
And with that advantage comes a lot of insight into knowing what makes her tick and how she works. Community and service has always been incredibly important to her: whether it was organizing local community events, fundraising for causes, or serving on the Board of Education, my mother prioritized people and doing right by them.
Nearly two years ago the residents of Windsor and Windsor Locks chose her to represent them and I watched as she knocked on doors to introduce herself, answered calls, responded to letters, and listened to the concerns of the community. Every cause she has pushed for and every vote she has made has been with an understanding of her responsibility to the people and with the intent of making the community stronger.
She has always spoken of what an honor it has been to serve and represent the residents of Windsor and Windsor Locks. It is my hope and wish that you will cast your vote in favor of her in November and give her the opportunity to serve once more.
We are voting for Jane Garibay because she has done an exceptional job as our State Representative. Jane is a warm and caring person who listens well and works hard for the people in her district. The COVID situation has created many problems with unemployment and emergency loans. Jane has enthusiastically jumped in to solve these problems for both Windsor and Windsor Locks residents. During these crazy times of stress and animosity, Jane’s calm demeanor and dedication are a breath of fresh air. Please vote for Jane Garibay!
Jane Garibay is the embodiment of the concept of humanity. My wife Betty and I are grateful for having known Jane for over fifty years —- since she was a teenager. Her early humanity was exemplified by her unique interest in hosting children from Mexico and from Spain. She herself was hosted by families from those two countries. How many youngsters have had such a worldview-enhancing experience. For several years she and her family hosted thirty to forty children. Due to her influence my wife and I hosted a child from each of those countries. Her husband, Bernardo, to whom she has been married for more than forty years, is right by her side in all of her endeavors. To express it in plain terms, Jane has exceptional family values as well as unmatched compassion. We are fortunate that she is willing to serve Windsor and Windsor Locks again in the State Legislature. We wholeheartedly endorse Jane in this November’s election.
As a longtime resident of Windsor Locks, I am endorsing State Representative Jane Garibay for a second term in the 60th District. Jane currently serves on the Aging, Commerce, and Transportation Committees.
In Jane’s first term as our State Representative, Jane was instrumental in guaranteeing that the taxes collected for the rental cars in Windsor Locks would go to Windsor Locks, instead of the State of Connecticut; hence, Jane’s strong leadership resulted in Windsor Locks saving $6 million in 2019. Jane wrote and introduced the “Veterans in the Workforce” bill along with Tami Zawistowski(R-Granby/Suffield). This bi-partisan bill allows veterans with prior experience and training in the heating and cooling industry to forego State of Connecticut training requirements in order to obtain a license. Jane is a great proponent of families and small businesses. Jane voted for the Paid Family and Medical Leave policy and also voted in favor of a bill that provided loans to small businesses that work on innovation. Jane’s commitment to reducing taxes for residents receiving Social Security and pension income was evident when she voted for a bill reducing and eventually eliminating taxes on these two forms of income by 2024.
Jane was one of the first two hundred residents of Connecticut to contract the Coronavirus in early March and during this pandemic, Jane worked tirelessly with individuals resolving unemployment benefit issues, assisted local businesses in obtaining loans, and helped Stonebrook Village Senior Living Center on Old County Road (W.L.) obtain much needed PPE.
Jane created the Connecticut Main Street Group along with State Rep. Quentin Phipps. This legislative action group will review existing policies, identify opportunities to support local “Downtowns”, and address the concerns regarding neglected downtown areas and the need to restore and revitalize the areas and spark growth.
In closing, Jane has devoted the majority of her life to public service and her focus and actions in the General Assembly reflect her commitment to the residents of Windsor Locks and Windsor. Jane is an effective communicator, a woman of integrity, and works diligently for her constituents. Please re-elect Jane Garibay for her second term as the State Representative from the 60th district! Thank you.