Democratic Board of Education Candidate Profiles

by LonSeidman

Democrats are bringing five newcomers to the slate this year. Incumbent Teresa Pineau has only been on the Board for eight months. Currently, there are four members. Helen Audibert is retiring while James Pape and Tony Gugliotti have opted to run for Town Council.

Christine Fusco-Nelson

Christine Fusco – Nelson
Contact:
203-879-9594 e-mail: srolmstead1137@gmail.com
Christine Fusco-Nelson is a volunteer with the Eagle’s Nest, which is an organization which distributes donated clothing to children in Wolcott. She also is involved with the Wolcott Food Pantry. She has two children and three step children, five grandchildren.

She told a candidates’ forum that “Family is what it’s all about. Without it, our kids could be led astray. We need to build a bigger and brighter relationship,” in her efforts to strengthen relationships between parents and schools. “I want to encourage each school to think outside the box to improve our already well established school system.”

Teresa Pineau

Teresa Pineau
Profession: Operating Room nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital
Family:Husband Dave, 4 children
Contact: Facebook
I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the BOE March 2011. I enjoy being a part of a team that makes a positive difference in our children’s lives . E-mail: tprn09@comcast.net

I am married to Dave Pineau-a lifelong Wolcott resident , who attended schools in Wolcott and is aWolcott HS graduate. I have 4 children , my oldest is in college and a graduate of Wolcott High School. I have a daughter who is a senior at Wolcott HS. My son is in 4th grade at Frisbie ES and another daughter who is also at Frisbie, in the 3rd grade.

As am a mom and a taxpayer – I know the importance of a good education and the resources needed to provide all of our children with a safe learning environment. A Quality education requires the efforts of our whole community – parents, teachers, volunteers, administrators , support staff-even the maintenance of our buildings has an affect on our students . As a board member, I work with a team of other board members and the Superintendant to make decisions on the education of our students. I believe we have a great school system, but we need to always strive to make it better. My focus will be to improve our SAT scores at the high school. Currently, Wolcott is doing well, but we need to be doing better. This means working with administrators and teachers to see where we can make changes that will put our students at the competitive edge. Some of the Democratic plans include better test preparation and career preparation.

In summary, I am a team player, and I get along with people regardless of party affiliation. I have a fresh perspective as a parent and a taxpayer. I am hoping to earn the support of my fellow parents and taxpayers.

Kathleen Cordone
Age: 61
Profession: Retired Wolcott teacher (37 years)
Contact info: 2038794346; kathyrock68@yahoo.com (prefer email as contact)

Why I’m running and issues I’m passionate about:
I’m very passionate about education issues and continue to read books and articles daily even though I retired 2 years ago. My various roles as a student, a parent, and a teacher over the last 50 years have afforded me a view of the Wolcott school system from many perspectives. I know where we’ve come from, and I have a vision of where we should be going.

I’m very concerned about the impact of federal education policy enacted in No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top legislation. Locally, these initiatives have had a huge impact on the time spent on test preparation and the pressure placed on our students and teachers to continually chase a rising bar of expectations on high stakes tests. As reported in the publication Education Week,

“Nearly a decade of America’s test-based accountability systems, from “adequate yearly progress” to high school exit exams, has shown little to no positive effect overall on learning and insufficient safeguards against gaming the system, a blue-ribbon committee of the National Academies of Science concludes in a new report.”

(For more on these studies, please click to read articles in Psychology Today and Education Week)

It would seem that political policy makers are not paying enough attention to the research and even though we as a district cannot escape the federal and state mandates, we can ramp down the pressure on our teachers and students.

I also feel the Board should be more open in their actions and actively invite input from all the stakeholders (teachers, parents, community, and students) about what is working and not working in our schools. These stakeholders should be included (at least in the preliminary stages) when choosing our educational leaders (superintendent, assistant superintendent, principals, vice-principals) as many other districts do.

Skills and talents:
I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and am good at seeing the big picture, while paying attention to the details and steps that are necessary to put a plan into action. I am also good at thinking outside the box, and looking at an issue from all sides before making a decision. My career as a teacher has honed my skills of compromise and dealing with people in such a way as to bring out the best in them. As a teacher I was often a leader (head teacher at Wakelee, professional development presenter) especially skilled in data analysis and scheduling.

Personality/Hobbies/Interests:
I have strong convictions concerning fairness, honesty, compassion, and respect. I have always been interested in designing floor plans for houses (even though, as a female, I wasn’t allowed to take drafting at Wolcott High in the 1960’s!) and the magical possibilities of solar power…. I designed my own house 25 years ago, incorporating passive solar techniques and in 2009 we had electricity producing solar panels installed on our south- facing roof. I just find it wondrous that sun shining on those panels produces electricity… it’s so direct with no mining, transporting, and burning of fossil fuels. I also love to read and am a member of a book club.

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