My wife Beth (a K-12 certified special education teacher) and I have lived in Old Lyme for six years, and our three children are attending kindergarten, second, and fifth grade in District 18 this year. I have taught at the high school and middle school levels for three years before attending medical school, and completing my residency in Emergency Medicine and a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. I have received awards for excellence in teaching and was recently elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Medicine, largely based on my commitment to the education of physicians. I routinely volunteer locally, serving as a soccer & baseball coach here in town.
Name the three characteristics (one word for each) that you believe will make you an effective member of the board of education? Expand on the one that you feel should be most significant to the voters.
Approachable, Honest, & Responsible
As a member of the Board of Education, one must have a sense of the community’s pressing issues and concerns. As an approachable candidate, already active in the community, I have already had many well expressed concerns & thoughts about the upcoming term brought to my attention. I would both encourage and expect this trend to continue over the next four years.
Additionally, being approachable lends itself to a Board of Ed environment where different points of view need to be expressed, respected, and ultimately incorporated into a decision making process. I hope to build upon the relationships I have already established with current members of the board as well as those of the current candidates; certainly one of the town’s strongest ballots to date.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools in the next four years?
Our biggest challenge for our schools will continue to be enrollment. Our town’s population & the school’s enrollment have declined as initially predicted. While enrollment has been & always will be a dynamic issue, the concept of change can be a difficult one for many, especially for parents seeking consistency & stability within the school district. Our challenge as a board will be to remain flexible with regard to options, yet unwavering with regard to it’s high expectations.
If you could achieve one objective — and only one — during your term on the Region 18 Board of Education, what would it be?
My ultimate achievement over the next four years will be to leave the students in a better place then when I started. We our undoubtedly a privileged town. However, with that privilege we also have a lofty responsibility; to enable our student body to reach their full potential as independent thinkers, entrepreneurs, citizens with a strong sense of community, and ultimately as leaders.