These remarks were prepared by candidate Sarah Schneider-Zuro for the beginning and end of the candidate's forum at Darien Library on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Schneider-Zuro is one of two Republicans (along with two Democrats) running for three seats on the Darien Board of Education in the Nov. 6, 2012 election.
Voters may vote for two candidates; three of the four will be elected.
The remarks here are as they were sent in the attached document to Darien Patch after the debate. The remarks as delivered, which may be heard on a TV79 recording of the debate, may differ.
Here are links to the opening and closing remarks sent by other candidates: Patty McCormick (D), Katie Stein (D) and Elizabeth Hagerty-Ross (R).
Sarah Schneider-Zuro's opening and closing statements:
Good evening. My name is Sarah Schneider-Zuro. I want to thank the League of Women Voters as well as the CDSP for co-sponsoring this forum. Thanks also to the other candidates here tonight - I look forward to our discussion. This evening, I hope you get to know me better – and I hope you’ll see why I can continue to bring leadership, experience, and balance to our Board of Education.
I’d like to tell you about myself and why I am running for the Board. I’ve spent my entire adult life pursuing excellence in education. Longer than I’ve been a mother, longer than I’ve been a wife, I’ve been an educator. After I graduated from Oberlin, I went Teachers College, Columbia University for my first masters degree in education and then off into the teaching world I went - to Bedford Village Elementary School.
In my desire to learn more about how children learn, I returned to Columbia University for a second master’s degree and doctoral work in education - which led me to a career as an administrator in the Ossining School District. Curriculum development, budget, teacher evaluation, professional development, summer school, and even working effectively with a school board became the focus of my life for a number of years until our second child was born.
After Jack arrived, I was excited to begin my new role as a full time mom of two boys. Shortly thereafter, we added a little girl to our mix. When our oldest child went off to kindergarten, I followed right along behind him – to PTO service. I first jumped into the political arena as an early advocate for full day kindergarten – now widely viewed as one of our most successful initiatives. This followed with three years of CDSP Budget work, volunteerism in youth sports and parent awareness and now. . .Board of Education.
I have worked for years to build a consistent reputation as a trustworthy leader. I feel honored to serve our community as a current Board of Education member and tonight I ask for your continued support this November.
I want to thank the League of Women Voters, the CDSP, and my fellow candidates for a great discussion this evening.
Tonight we’ve had the chance to touch on a few of the issues surrounding the Board of Education – but, in reality, there are hundreds of other equally important issues that we haven’t talked about - issues that our Board will face over the next few years – issues that will have an impact on Darien’s youngest residents. On November 6th, you will make an important decision – one that will shape the future of our children’s education for years to come. You need to think about electing Board members that you can trust – who have the experience and professional background to lead our schools.
I am the candidate who has had years of direct experience in the field. I am the candidate who has personally been a public school teacher and administrator. I am the one who went back to Columbia multiple times to learn more about how school districts work and achieve success. I have seen and personally handled the full spectrum of educational issues throughout my career – and I bring that expertise to the Board table.
I’ve been consistently active in our schools since our oldest child entered kindergarten – and when I’ve seen opportunities through the years to advance educational excellence in our schools, I have consistently stood up year after year after year to champion them. I have consistently demonstrated how I can work collaboratively and effectively with all of the different constituencies I have encountered. Education is not what I talk about. It’s what I live.
I have spent my entire adult life pursuing educational excellence – for myself personally, for the students I have served professionally, as a mother and PTO member, and now as a current Board of Education member. I am honored to serve our town and I am proud to run as a team with my Board colleague Betsy Hagerty-Ross. I ask that you vote for me and our team. Thank you for coming this evening.
Editor's note: This article originally was posted at 12:46 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19. The time stamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch (to make each candidate's statement appear in the order it was sent in).