Thank you for checking out my education blog! To introduce myself, I am your Democratic candidate for Chicopee School Committee for Ward 8!
I was a science teacher at Chicopee High School from 2013-2018 and worked as a secretary on the Chicopee Education Association from 2015-2018. I have a Master’s in Education from the local Elms College, a B.S. in Chemistry from Westfield State University and an additional 30 credits of Graduate coursework in Chemistry through University of Saint Joseph, a strenuous online Master’s program.
Currently, I work at Eastman Chemical Company in Indian Orchard as a Lead Quality Control Analyst. I plan to update this blog with my ideas about education reform and innovation, my experience with schools and education locally, and create a community where people can share ideas, ask questions, and voice concerns in a non-judgemental way.
I’d like to use this introduction to explain my overall passion for education in Chicopee and then I will update following posts throughout my candidacy. Thank you for reading and considering me as your candidate.
I have wanted to be a teacher since my brain was developed enough to even contemplate the future. There was a comfort I always felt in the classroom. It was a place where I felt supported and have grown in many ways. The more I learned, the more I knew I wanted to teach. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I decided to major in Chemistry. I actually didn’t particularly like it at first. I thought I would probably teach English or math, my two favorite subjects, but chemistry prevailed. It includes math with problem solving and English in basically teaching a whole new language that is the elements, chemical formulas, chemical structures, and nomenclature. Also, the more I learned chemistry, the more I loved it. It was easy to pass on my love for it to my students.
My high school chemistry teacher, Mark Abert, was also my advisor during my senior year, became a mentor of mine. I taught lessons in his class during my teaching practicum and we became colleagues and friends during our time working together at CHS.
His death in 2016 was a turning point for me. He inspired me to not take things personally with the students, to continue making chemistry fun, to embrace my inner nerd and to teach students to do the same. Not being in the classroom anymore to do these things is sometimes sad for me, but I find other ways to make him proud. I am a chemist, I continue to teach chemistry through my Instagram @E.LoChem and School Committee would be a good way for me to still work with the schools that made me who I am today.
I graduated from Chicopee High School in 2009 in the top 10 of the class. I was involved in student council, ran for class president (didn’t win, but oh well), orchestrated each winning Pride Week Poster Contest, helped found the short- lived Future Educators of America club, and took two AP courses each year. I’m not sure if this experience is relevant besides from the memory of excitement I have of high school. Part of my mission as a teacher was to bring this excitement to my students.
Here is a photo of me last year reliving high school in maroon and gold on CHS Pride day with some of my chemistry students:
My goals if elected to school committee include:
– ensuring schools and classrooms are a positive learning environment where students and staff feel heard, respected, and comfortable
– encouraging quality of work over quantity of work for both students and teachers (i.e. putting your all into less, but manageable things rather than saying “yes” to everything and burning out. You need sleep!!)
– working to provide the best for students while considering the reality of financial limitations and researching alternatives and compromise when necessary
– working with the CEA and city administration to negotiate reasonable and competitive contracts
– being a reliable and consistent ear for teachers, students, parents, staff, and citizens of Chicopee. Speaking of, my email that I can always be reached at is firstname.lastname@example.org & This blog is also a platform where I can be reached.
I’d love to hear from you.
Elonia Lamontagne, M. Ed
Candidate for School Committee Ward 8