Granville Exempted Village Board of Education
Ceciel Shaw, a reading specialist and director of children and family programs at a local church, is running for her first office. With twenty years of education experience, she is dedicated to the health and well-being of students and their families. As a community organizer, Ceciel will bring her track record of collaborating to the best solutions to local problems.
In 2020 Ceciel will begin her work as a Granville Exempted Board of Education Member.Facebook
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
Immediately following the November 2016 election, I contacted a small group of local women, mostly mothers of young children like myself, and asked if they wanted to take action with me. Not knowing exactly what we would be doing (meeting with legislators? educating each other?), we connected with women throughout Licking County and formed a group that we called Strong Voices Rising. We held trainings on white privilege and running for office. We hosted Judge Jennifer Bruner who shared about her work with elections worldwide. We organized to support women running for local and state office. Our work was very grassroots and impactful and I decided that I needed to step up and formally become a leader in my community. Education has been my passion for my entire adult life so running for school board was the perfect fit.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I am surrounded by people who have a deep commitment to social justice. The lifelong friends I made when I attended an all-women’s college are working to change the narrative for underrepresented people across the United States. One of them, my dear friend Angela, trains community organizers in issues of diversity; her parents have been involved in local politics for years, serving on city council and as campaign managers. When I was a young woman, Angela taught me about canvassing and the importance of being involved in the democratic process. My husband is also a changemaker—he’s a journalist bringing stories from the middle of the country to large news outlets nationwide. Like Angela’s parents, my husband’s parents have been connected to local politics for years. He learned the importance of being involved in leadership roles in the local community and now we get to share that message with our three children.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
Eighteen years ago during my first week as a teacher in Brooklyn, I was outside on a fire drill with my students right across the East River from the buildings in lower Manhattan. I heard the sound of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Our first response was to keep children safe, to reassure them, to make sure their parents knew we would be at school for as long as they needed us. In the weeks after, we made cards of encouragement and delivered them to a Muslim owned grocery store and to firefighters at a fire station around the corner. Teaching young children in New York City during this time of fear and hate was life-changing.
All of my adult life has been spent in education. I’ve taught children with disabilities that they are more than the challenge they are labeled with, while helping them improve in academic areas. I brought Peace Village, a national day camp, to my town, Granville, to teach children conflict resolution skills. I truly believe thoughtful education and teaching critical inquiry to children and young people will lead to stronger communities, towns, and cities in Ohio.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
I love this goal. I want to further it by making sure young people are educated about democracy and see themselves as active participants in it. I want girls and young women to see women in leadership roles and then learn how to get themselves in these roles. Part of the problem with politics is that men recruit and support their friends to run for office—we women need to continue to lift each other up.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
The state expects Granville taxpayers to pay a large amount for education. The passage of the Cupp-Patterson Proposal would have alleviated some of the burden but it is being reviewed by House committees this fall. And my community of Granville is not as diverse as I’d like it to be. We need leaders to appreciate difference and honor student diversity—whether it is differing learning abilities or socio-economic status or a student’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I am a terrible singer who loves musicals and singing loud and proud with the car windows rolled down!