To the Editor and the People of Monroe:
My name is Jennifer Palmieri (Plessis), the daughter of Donna Miller (30yr resident bus driver and dispatcher/manager) and granddaughter of Jane Miller (30yr resident Cafeteria Head Cook). I have been a resident of Monroe for almost 40 years and third generation family homeowner for more than 60.
I am writing this letter in support of Jerry Stevens as First Selectman! I am not only as a previous student to Mr. Jerry Stevens, but also a life long family friend! I had the pleasure of strolling into Mr. Stevens’ classroom as a 6th grader of Chalk Hill Middle School, already knowing his familiar antics and compassion for tech-ed from tales by my mother and others, but also eager to learn from this incredible, once in a lifetime, “true pioneer.”
Jerry Stevens taught me that it was okay not to rush into working with power tools until I was comfortable with the regular hand held types, and if that meant I never created a masterpiece with the “big machines” and only got used to the power sander it was OK because I tried and did my best!
Jerry was not just a “shop teacher” he created our town’s first programs for C02 Drag Car racing, computer engineering, and so much more! Mr. Stevens taught me to be creative in a way I never knew I could be before; by creating one of a kind gifts on the t-shirt screener and developing a radio station recording with my friends using our favorite music singles from the 90s… I still have both a t-shirt gifted to my dad and a cassette recording from all those years ago.
I continued to take pleasure in learning under Mr. Stevens as 7th and 8th grade took place at Jockey Hollow Middle School in a fresh room with all new equipment to learn from, and as those years passed, our family alliance grew stronger when his son, Jared, and I became better friends in high school.
My family continued to follow Jerry’s achievements starting with recognition of his program for “Connecticut Tech Ed Program of the Year” in 2002, “Monroe Teacher of the Year” in 2006, and again for the “CT Tech Ed Teacher of they Year” in 2007. I myself and all my family and friends could not have been happier for our community knowing Jerry Stevens was being recognized for his dedication and true devotion to the town of Monroe!
After graduating Masuk in 2004, I decided to pursue a career in education and, like Mr. Stevens, I decided to dedicate my time to the students and families of our hometown of Monroe. I began working as a para-educator in 2006 and with that came the gratitude and pure excitement of working alongside some of the great educators I grew to admire before me such as Mr. Jerry Stevens. I was fortunate enough to have learned many things from him about accommodations and modifications for students, and was honored to learn beside him at professional development meetings during his last few years before retirement in 2013.
One major theory I carry with me from Mr. Stevens is that “the youth are our future.” He never gave up on any of us, and with that mindset I never give up on any of my students and truly believe my work with them will build a more successful community in Monroe.
Jerry has proven to show servitude to our community even when times were tough; like during the Sandy Hook tragedy, the COVID pandemic, and demanding complete transparency for our town during this election for First Selectman.
It is with my utmost confidence and recommendation that Mr. Jerry Stevens should be elected for First Selectman based on his continued support and commitment to our town and the growth of our expanding community. Jerry will be the one to raise flags for all of us, inform us of our town’s wins and losses, and go to bat for us as the first line of defense.
Jerry is Monroe born, Monroe raised, and Monroe Strong! Vote the right way by voting for Jerry Stevens in the Election for First Selectman.