Democratic Candidates for Board of Education

by Christopher O'Brien

BOEBuildingPhotoThe largest industry in Wolcott is education. With over 500 teachers and staff educating about 2800 students, the Board of Education is also the town’s largest employer. It manages a $32.2 Million budget -65% of all town expenditures. Members meet twice a month and are prohibited from receiving any payment by state statute.

Their role is to manage the school system, oversee the Superintendant, approve hires and resignation, approve curricula and many other roles. The Board is governed by State Statute and operates entirely independent of the Mayor and Town Council. The only role the Town C

ouncil has officially with the Board is approving the total requested whole budget allocation (For example, the Council can approve its $32.2 million budget, but has no input into any specific line item).

When new contracts are approved, Board and Superintendant often submit those contracts to the Council for approval.

Republicans currently have a 6-3 majority. Each party will present 6 candidates to voters to choose from on Election Day. Voters may select up to 6 candidates on their ballot, although 9 will be elected.

Here are the candidates from the Democratic Party:


Lori DelBuono-Ciccio

Lori DelBuono-Ciccio (D)


Occupation: Customer Relations Manager
What makes you the ideal candidate for re-election to Board of Education? Being a mother of a student in the Wolcott School system, I have the advantage of hearing the opinions of students and parents as well as the teachers and administrators.  The school system is moving in the right direction, although there is much more that needs to be done. I feel that I can be a valuable asset to the continued educational improvement that I have already been a part of creating. 
What else can you tell about yourself? I am currently the President of the Wolcott Strength and Gridiron Club at Wolcott High School and have been a board member for 5 years. We provide support to the Wolcott High School Football Team, as well as the Weightlifting Club.  Our goal is provide financial support to these programs.

John Testa

John Testa

John A. Testa, MD

Profession: Medical doctor, internist at Primary Care Partners in Prospect
Why are you running for Board of Education: I went to Wolcott schools all my life and now have two children at Alcott. I think we have some of the best academic standards around, but we’re only meeting standards in nutrition. Children have a body and a mind. My platform is to improve our children’s nutrition at school. Try and limit or ban processed foods, and introduce more whole foods. Try and incorporate nutrition lessons and hands on experience with fruits and vegetables. I’ve researched a program sponsored by Whole Foods and 20 other organizations that can introduce healthier eating in our schools for free. I also have contacts in Washington that can assist in finding similar ways to improve child nutrition in our schools.
I am heavily involved in diabetes research and to date have completed 10 research trials to help bring new treatment to our nation’s diabetics.  I’ve also taken great pride in teaching our future Doctors to help prepare them for tomorrow’s health care challenges.
Parents,, educators, and board members need to work together to ensure that a ALL our children are prepared to meet their future challenges.
I come before you, my fellow neighbors, not a Democrat or Republican but as a father and concerned physician, that I seek not to change to fantastic work the BOE has done but to enhance it with my academic background.
But overall, To help the board and our town in anyway I can, wether I’m elected or not.
Teresa Pineau

Teresa Pineau

Teresa Pineau

Occupation: Nurse at Middlesex Hospital

Family: Married to Dave Pineau with four children: Emily Strileckis (20), Molly Strileckis (19), and two more children who attend Tyrrll and Frisbie schools. Resident for 14 years.

I moved here because I knew this was a great place to live & raise a family.  I believe in our schools. I feel that you don’t need to be a lifelong resident to serve our Town . I am qualified to serve on the BOE. I proved in 2011 that I could serve the board and look our for the best interest of our children. It’s time for some fresh, new faces with new ideas.


Why are you running? I am running for BOE because I am a taxpayer and a mom.  I am someone with a fresh, new outlook , but with previous BOR experience.  I know how the system works. I am a team player. We have one of the best school systems in the state. I want to take our schools to the next level. Never stop aiming higher. Setting bigger goals. There are a lot of changes coming with the new Common Core.  We have begun to work with this in the middle schools – as a mom of 2 children currently in the system and an active member of PTO, I am aware of how hard our teachers are working to implement the new Common Core mandates. I see it firsthand with my son’s school work. I have been reading & researching the subject.  Regardless of what my opinion may be- its a mandate.  We cannot avoid it. I think our teachers have been doing a fantastic job at working with it and incorporating it into their curriculum. They are working hard to make it work. We have great teachers who can adapt and will come out on top.


Art Lerz

Occupation: Retired head Custodian of Tyrrell Middle School; Arturo’s Bakery

Why are you running? I want to keep the physical maintainance of the schools as it is now and I want to be there for the kids. I’m not running for anything else. I just want to give back – I’m 70 years old and if the voters elect me, great.

What makes you stand out as a candidate? As head custodian, I worked with the kids. I saw what they do every day. I also got together a group of kids that helped clean up the cafeteria. Among this group were three autistic students who were really quiet. But after working with them, I was able to get them to come out of their shell.

A priest once told me that alot of people have brains in their heads. And alot have brains in their hands. This means that not all kids are booksmart. I wasn’t booksmart- but I was successful. And many students aren’t necessarily booksmart, but they are streetsmart.

One of the things I want to do is make sure that every student in thrd grade on up can read and spell. I don’t they all can today. I was in the schools for 13 years and saw what they’re doing. They need help. I’m seventy years old and I say what I mean – I’m very direct and I think we need someone who can have this unique perspective to help them out.


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