More about Natalya
Hi! I am Natalya Lakhtakia. I have served on the Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education since 2019, and am proud to announce that I am running for re-election this year!
I have lived in Saratoga Springs with my husband and now-Kindergartener since 2016. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I have dedicated my career to working with students in the public education system, working with students of all ages–in early intervention, in preschools, in K-12 schools, and with adult transition programs.
I love my job – I get to help students communicate their wants, needs, thoughts, and ideas every day! I’m passionate about meeting each of their needs and making sure that they have a safe, loving, and healthy educational environment. I want that for every student in every district, and bring that commitment to my service on the Board.
In my family, education is everything--it is what motivated my parents to come to the United States. My father, from India, is a distinguished professor at Penn State University and my mother, from Argentina, was a research associate who transitioned to teaching in middle school, high school, and at Penn State. Twelve years ago, I completed my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Utah, where both of my parents studied, and followed their lead into the role of an educator.
I am honored to have served my community on the school board for the past 3 years, and ask for your vote so I can continue doing good work. I have dedicated my time to supporting our district - our teachers, staff, administration, and most importantly, our students. I have served on our board Policy Committee for 3 years, including the past 2 years as the chair. I have been on our district’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee since its creation, serving on the Policy Subcommittee. I am also on our district’s Counseling Committee.
I am a community builder. I cook and serve food through Saratoga Stronger on Saturday nights when Code Blue is closed, and when Code Blue is open, I work to raise funding for the nutritious and delicious meals that are served there. I have volunteered on numerous progressive campaigns throughout the Capital Region, working to get forward-thinking leaders into office. Within our district, I have volunteered at almost every COVID-19 vaccination and booster clinic, and at many test kit distribution events in our city. I am a helper and I love saying “Yes!” to as many volunteer opportunities as I can.
I teach my son and my students to always be kind and respectful, and I work to embody those principles myself. I have spent my time on the school board conducting myself collegially, respectfully, collaboratively, and with integrity. I am a firm believer that the only way forward is together. I am a friend of organized labor and a champion for justice.
Outside of my work with and for students, I also love to spend time every week being a student–I have been taking voice lessons for years. That creative outlet is part of my lifelong interest in making music and art.I have always loved creating all kinds of art, and especially enjoy doing hand embroidery and drawing. I love color. My son and I have done a few art installations in our home to make it more rainbow! My family loves to attend musicals, explore museums, and visit beautiful places. I have very little ability to grow a garden, but love to cultivate plants, and basically have a greenhouse in my dining room. My family loves to read together - we recently finished reading The Wild Robot by Peter O. Brown, which we loved more than words can explain. We have two adorable parrots named Malcolm and Pippin.
My personal and professional knowledge, perspective, and problem-solving skills combine to make me a highly effective board member. I promise to continue making decisions collaboratively, and sharing them transparently. I will continue to work hard for each and every one of you. I will continue talking to you, connecting with you, and listening to your ideas.
I have a strong vision of what we can accomplish together, but I know that nothing happens overnight. I have the drive, passion, and commitment to make collaborative and smart decisions for the long-term benefit of our schools.