I am currently an incumbent member of the Board of Education. During my term, I have served as chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Board, and have served on the finance, policy, curriculum, communications and personnel subcommittees. Previously, I have served on the Board of Finance for eight years (2003-2011), serving as both vice-chairperson and chairperson of that Board as well. And I have also served the town on the Retirement Benefits Advisory Committee for 11 years (since 2008), and on the Board of Directors of the Regional YMCA for 8 years (2004-2012). My family has lived in Brookfield for 31 years in Brookfield, where my five children have all attended Brookfield public schools, and where my spouse and I were very active in supporting the kids and their schools in various ways (coaching, committees, etc). I am a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School and am a 39-year executive leader at IBM. My personal background is in finance and planning, which is very helpful to the schools and the budgeting process.
The most important thing facing our school system over the few years is building a new elementary school. The new school project is still in its infancy – needing to yet go through the detailed design phase, the approvals and funding from the state, and the actual building process. This is a project that will set the stage for Brookfield education for the next 30-50 years, so needs to be done right. In addition, because this is such a large investment for our town, the annual budget process will otherwise be constrained so as to not overburden our taxpayers. The schools will need to navigate carefully, balancing needs for investments with understanding the constraints of the taxpaying public.
Improving the building blocks of education has been an important focus for the existing board and will continue to be so for the coming years. When I speak of “building blocks”, I refer to improving our curriculum, improving our teaching tools (textbooks, technology, etc) and extending/focusing the ongoing training our teaching staff receives. Focus over the past four years has been primarily at the elementary school level, and it will shift rapidly to the middle and high school.
Serving on the Board of Education is rather non-partisan. We should all be glad that that’s the case. Our board activity and any votes taken are all rooted in what is best for the education of our children in Brookfield, and not in which party we ran with. We reinforce that bipartisanship with one another every meeting. That said, the candidates from the Republican party will, in general, be conservative financially, which will be an important attribute when dealing with our most important focus (new school, budget impacts).
- Running for: Board of Education