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Two Effective Candidates For BOE



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To the Editor:

Every two years, elections bring debate about effective leadership in Newtown. I am not running for office this year, this being my second year of a four year term on the Board of Education, but having seen and heard talking points about district operations and performance, I feel compelled to address these topics and offer an endorsement of two candidates with proven records.

I am proud of what we have accomplished in the last several years. Discussions about long-term planning have been productive and have led to good decisions and practices. Sharing services with the town to share costs provided savings. Staffing throughout the district, including administration, has been adjusted every year to fit enrollment and student needs. The focus on effective data use, curriculum, and professional development has taken a central role, and policies have been updated and improved. Excellent SAT scores and rising AP tests and scores are a reflection of a high-performing district. Finally, the district has moved to healthier school start times, a move that many districts struggle to implement despite the evidence that it is best for students.

Newtown schools are a boon to our community. A recent enrollment projection report indicated that consistently, over the last six years, more people with children move into Newtown than leave. This in-migration helps offset the decrease in birth rates, and in fact, Newtown’s enrollment is expected to increase over the next ten years, during a time when most of Connecticut will see decreases. Our good schools help bolster a healthy community and maintain property values.

Rebekah Harriman-Stites and John Vouros, two board members up for reelection, helped effect these important initiatives and outcomes. Their records speak volumes, and I hope you join me in supporting their continued contributions to an incredibly effective Board of Education.

Michelle Embree Ku

28 Platts Hill Road, Newtown October 30, 2019

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