Board of Education welcomes familiar face

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First Selectman Mark Fiorentino congratulates Karen Richmond-Godard after her swearing in as a new member of the Granby Board of Education during the Feb. 5 Board of Selectmen meeting. Photo by Shirley Murtha

The Granby Board of Education is pleased to welcome a new member who is a familiar face to the school community. Karen Richmond-Godard, a former Granby Memorial High School teacher, will fill the remaining two years of a four-year term vacated by Whitney Sanzo.

Godard’s career in education began just over 30 years ago outside of Philadelphia in Lower Merion School District. With an undergrad degree from Penn State and a masters’ degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Godard taught French and Spanish for 12 years. In 2005, she moved her family to West Granby and began teaching at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford.

Godard’s three sons, Sam, Noah, and Teddy attended Granby public schools and when the opportunity arose to teach in 2009, she jumped at it. Godard believes Granby schools provided her sons with strong, beneficial connections to quality teachers and an educational foundation that has served them well.

Over the course of 14 years, she became a well-regarded, high-impact teacher in Granby. Eventually, she decided to take steps that would allow her to help other teachers optimize their impact on education. 

In 2021, Godard completed her Sixth Year in Education Leadership, Policy and Tech at Central Connecticut State University. With a higher-level education into how school systems operate, she accepted a position in Region 10 as the District Coordinator for World Languages and ESL.

While Godard feels her new role will create a ripple effect of high quality, high impact teaching, leaving her students was not easy. She said it was especially difficult saying goodbye to her Granby seniors whom she taught and nurtured since their freshman year. That’s one of the reasons she jumped at the opportunity to re-join Granby Public Schools through an open position on the board of education.

“I have witnessed the heart-breaking choice many excellent teachers have had to make to reluctantly leave their beloved students and co-workers to seek higher pay in other districts to meet their families’ financial needs. Kids need solid relationships with adults they can trust, and losing fine teachers is destabilizing and detrimental to kids and the community. The impact of this attrition is part of what inspired me to serve on the board. I hope to support the staff of GPS to have a positive school climate that benefits all stakeholders. I am deeply committed to education, and I look forward to working with other members of the Granby BOE to help guide policy through the perspective of someone who knows the GPS system from inside the classroom.”