Natalie Sheppard to leave RCSD school board, accepted position with Democratic BOE

Elections Local

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials with newly appointed Monroe County Democratic Board of Election Commissioner Jackie Ortiz announced that Natalie Sheppard has been chosen and accepted the position of deputy commissioner of the Democratic Board of Elections.

“I am proud to have Natalie as my partner as we work collectively to engage our voting community.  I am thrilled to honor our community and committee’s call to have both talent and diversity at the helm of the BOE.  I am excited that two women of color will lead us into the future,” Ortiz said in a statement.

The RCSD Board of Education released a stament saying Sheppard’s resignation took effect on Friday. “We wish to congratulate Ms. Sheppard on her recent appointment as Deputy Commissioner for the Board of Elections, and we thank her for her advocacy and tireless work on behalf of the youth of the RCSD.  Natalie advocated for students’ needs and wants while pushing the boundaries of systemic restraints. Her service has been an honorable addition to the efforts of fighting on behalf of our students and their families.”

According to the statement from the Board of Education, the Board has 30 days to appoint a new representative and will convene a special meeting next Thursday that will move immediately into executive session to discuss the next steps in this process.

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Full statement from Ortiz:

It is my pleasure to announce that I have selected Natalie Sheppard as the Deputy Commissioner of the Board of Elections. She will begin officially on Monday, August 31, 2020.  Natalie is a well-known public servant in our community and is someone who believes in the value of the democratic process. She is a fighter for justice and has a track record for working collaboratively with both sides of the aisle.  Natalie has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan and a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Keuka College.  Her experience with budgets, personnel management, training, and employee development are assets that will ensure employee morale within the BOE team is high. Natalie understands the importance of being responsive to the community and will ensure equitable engagement.  A staunch advocate for youth voice and participation, Natalie comes with a vision of expanding our pre-registration efforts, civic education, and engaging and employing more young adults as elections inspectors. I am proud to have Natalie as my partner as we work collectively to engage our voting community.  I am thrilled to honor our community and committee’s call to have both talent and diversity at the helm of the BOE.  I am excited that two women of color will lead us into the future.

Natalie Sheppard’s Bio from RCSD:

Natalie Sheppard joined the Board in January 2018. She was born and raised in Rochester, NY. Natalie takes pride in doing her part in assisting with the improvement of her community. Her greatest strength is her ability to create and implement innovative solutions to identified problems. Her passion is working with youth and families. Natalie Sheppard has her master’s degree in Social Work and currently works for Children Awaiting Parents. She is also an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Roberts Wesleyan College and serves as an Advisory Council Member for Action for a Better Community’s New Direction program. Previously, Natalie has worked for the Urban League of Rochester as a Program Coordinator; Monroe County Children’s Detention Center as an Intake Worker at the Crisis Nursery; and Monroe BOCES 1 as a Paraprofessional and Associate Teacher. Working with children and families through these capacities have helped shape Natalie into the Youth and Families’ Advocate that she is today. Natalie currently lives in Rochester, NY with her daughter where she continues to support various community organizations and initiatives.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.

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