Higgins Hoping For A Full Term On The BOE
To the Editor:
My name is Todd Higgins, a candidate to serve the remaining two year term for a vacated seat on the Board of Education. Earlier this year, I was appointed to hold that seat until the November election, and I am writing to now ask my fellow Newtown residents for the honor to continue serving for the remainder of the term.
First, a little more about my background. I was born in Queens, New York, one of four boys raised in extreme poverty by a single disabled mother. When I was 14 years old, I left school to work full-time and help support my family. From selling flowers on street corners to mopping floors at a Wendy’s restaurant, sheer force of will yielded an early career in management and banking, while I attended Queens College (CUNY) and Fordham Law at night.
After graduating law school, I began my legal career as an appellate and antitrust litigator in Washington D.C., before relocating my family to Connecticut in 2002 and launching my own firm. Since then, I have spent much of my time guiding boards and executives across many industries, including nonprofit organizations, providing counsel on execution excellence in times of opportunity as well as in times of crisis and conflict.
I have also taught undergraduate constitutional law as an adjunct professor for UConn, served as a court appointed mediator in complex disputes, helped launch, build, and run several businesses, and raised six children, the oldest of which graduates from UConn law school next year, while the youngest goes to kindergarten at Middle Gate in Newtown, where I have lived since 2015.
When I was asked by the Republican party to join the Board of Education earlier this year, some privately cautioned whether it would make sense for someone with my background and apolitical focus to serve at a time when corrosive political divisions were eroding the sense of community that holds Newtown together, making it difficult to get anything done, even as our school system faces real challenges, including steep drops in enrollment, underwhelming performance, aging infrastructure, and strained town budgets. Why take on a “thankless job” when the collective ability of our town to come together around a shared vision for the future of our schools appears absent?
The answer is simple.
I believe in service to the community, I believe in the power of education and hard work to transform lives, as they have my own, and I believe Newtown can do better. My candidacy for the Board of Education is not about politics. It’s about encouraging the pursuit of excellence while contributing organizational vision, leadership, fact-based reasoning, respect for individual autonomy and self-determination, and disciplined problem-solving execution. That is what I have sought to contribute to the board thus far, including as a member of the Policy Committee, and that is what I am committed to do for Newtown if I am given the opportunity to continue serving.
Thank you for considering my candidacy.