Following their triumphant victory in the May 2023 Freeport school board election, Sonia Dixon and Scott Richardson are gearing up to take their seats on the Freeport School Board for the upcoming academic year. With diverse backgrounds, unwavering dedication to education, and strong community ties, they are poised to shape the future of Freeport’s educational landscape.
Richardson and Dixon join Trustee President Maria Jordan-Awalom, Vice President Shuron U. Jackson along with trustee Sunday F. Coward.
Dixon’s journey to the Freeport School Board is a testament to her enduring commitment to youth and community advocacy. Born in El Salvador, she migrated to the United States in 1984, seeking refuge from civil unrest in her home country. Her journey led her to Freeport, where she embraced the community as her own. Her roots in the community run deep, and her passion for empowering the younger generation is palpable.
As a Freeport resident for 30 years, Dixon has become an integral part of the local fabric. Her passion for education and community engagement is a driving force in her life. As a mother of four daughters, Sonia understands the importance of a quality education. All of her children have been part of the Freeport public school system, and she now has a grandchild attending as well.
“My main priority is unifying everyone—students, parents, teachers, staff, and community as a whole to make sure that we all have one common goal, and that’s the student,” Dixon said. “I just saw changes that can be formed from just having a caring attitude.. I have a passion for trying to help youth in this community.
Dixon’s track record includes serving as the PTA Council President in Freeport, a position she leveraged to earn a spot on the executive board of the Nassau Region PTA. Over the past seven years, she tirelessly lobbied in Albany to champion public education and advocate for Freeport residents. Additionally, Dixon and her husband have been coaching youth soccer since 2009.
Dixon shared her excitement about her new role and stressed her mission to foster unity within the district. She envisions a Freeport where students, parents, teachers, and the community collaborate to improve education, regardless of background or challenges. Her extensive experience as an advocate, community leader, and parent uniquely positions her to drive this vision forward.
“I think the first thing we need to do is work together with the staff, the administration, and obviously, as a board. We have great programs in Freeport,” Dixon said. “But there’s always room for improvement. At the end of the day, that’s what we are here for in this volunteer position.”
Richardson, a lifelong denizen of Freeport, brings a wealth of experience in public service and financial acumen to the Freeport School Board.
Born and raised in the heart of the Freeport community, Richardson’s educational journey mirrored that of many Freeport students as he attended local schools. His close ties to the community and his understanding of the unique challenges facing its residents have shaped his life and career. His professional career spans an impressive 21 years with the village of Freeport.
Beginning in the Department of Public Works, Richardson climbed the ranks to become a trailblazing figure as the village’s first black superintendent. Throughout his tenure, he expertly managed a $20 million budget for the village, earning a reputation for fiscal responsibility and leadership.
“I’m a very hands-on person,” Richardson said. “I’m a person who likes to get out there and do the work. I’m just a worker. I’m a servant to the people.”
Under his leadership, several village departments, including the Recreation Center and Water Department, thrived. His stewardship extended to managing budgets that reached up to $70 million, showcasing his financial acumen and commitment to responsible governance.
Currently, he serves as an Oiler/Tech at the village’s power plant, where he operates equipment that generates electricity for the community.
In tandem with his public service, Richardson boasts a long history of community involvement.
He and his wife have successfully operated a daycare center in Freeport for several years. Furthermore, their active participation in youth programs and organizations underscores their commitment to nurturing the next generation.
Richardson emphasized the importance of fostering unity within the Freeport community. He envisions a district where morale is high, collaboration is the norm, and every student receives the support needed to thrive.
“I just want to make sure that all the children that are here in the district right now get a fighting chance,” Richardson said. “My main priority is unifying everyone. Putting aside our differences. Boosting morale.”
The 2023-2024 school year has begun, Dixon and Richardson are poised to become key figures on the Freeport School Board. Their diverse backgrounds, wealth of experience, and shared vision for a unified and empowered district signal a promising future for Freeport’s students, parents, teachers, and community.
The Freeport School District gears up for a transformative year as it welcomes it’s two new dedicated board members, alongside the approval of the 2023-24 budget.
The 2023-24 Freeport School District budget, totaling just under $238.8 million, symbolizes a historic commitment to education and community advancement.