WESTON, Conn. - Weston candidates were posed a set of three questions by The Daily Voice to help give voters an idea of what they might bring to the position.
Here are Board of Education incumbent, Democrat Denise Harvey's responses:
1) Why are you running this year?
I am running for re-election so I can continue to be an integral voice for the community, working with the district to maintain our excellent educational system in a fiscally responsible manner and to prepare our children for success in an ever-changing world.
2) What do you hope to accomplish in your term if elected?
Our biggest challenge is to maintain the level of educational experience and range of extracurricular activities that our community has come to expect while containing costs in the most effective and reasonable way. Other pressing issues include: facility usage in an era of enrollment fluctuations and aging resources, implementation of changes in curricula, testing and educator evaluations as a result of legislative reform, consideration of blended learning initiatives (adding online delivery of instruction and content with some student control over the pace, location, time and method of learning), recruitment and retention of talented teachers, provision of adequate support to students, continued implementation of the goals identified in the most recent school strategic plan, and the extent and nature of security enhancements in a post-Newtown world.
It is my intention to address these issues with the same level of diligence, thoughtfulness, hard work, analysis, and willingness to listen to community input as I have demonstrated during my first term. I also advocate continued engagement of the community in the budgetary process and in other issues affecting our schools, and a solid working relationship among the Boards of Education, Selectmen and Finance. The discourse must be sustained on a foundation of trust, openness and shared commitment to community expectations and values regarding the school system.
3) How do you stand out against your competitors?
I have spent the past four years as a member of the Board of Education working closely with the administration, the rest of the Board, and other key Weston public officials on educational, financial and policy issues and initiatives. During my first term, I have contributed my time and skills to the Board, as Chair of the Negotiations and Finance Committees, as a member of the Communications, Policy and Strategic Planning Committees and as liaison to the Weston Education Foundation. From the budget process to labor negotiations, curriculum review, policy, academic and operational initiatives, integration of technology, security enhancements, educational reform, capital improvements and strategic planning, I have developed a wide base of knowledge from which to continue to serve the community.
With each issue faced by the BOE, I have applied the analytical, consensus-building, communication, collaboration and decision- making skills that I developed during my 20-year legal career. I have also served as a PTO president and the member of three different school PTO executive boards.
This combination of experience, knowledge and skills puts me in a unique position to serve the community as a member of the Board of Education.
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