29 Oct Shelton Board of Education candidate profiles
There are 15 candidates running for nine spots on the ballot for the Board of Education in the November election. Below are small biographies submitted by the candidates. The incumbents are noted. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
Wayne Bragg (D)
Current job: Instructor (Graduate Accounting) – University of Connecticut.
Education: Windsor, CT; B.S. – Central Conn. State University; M.B.A. – University of Connecticut.
The most important issue in this election: To meet the superintendent’s goal of 85 percent on the Next Generation Accountability Assessment. That goal requires a new collaborative budget process where the BOA and the BOE strategically evaluate the needs of the school system, set high student expectations, and allocate the resources required. Otherwise, Shelton will continue to have lower rated schools than surrounding communities.
Other issues: Curriculum and technology must be kept current to give students the skills needed for 21st century jobs. STEM programs must be delivered across the entire system to every student to promote problem-solving and critical thinking. Personal finance courses are also necessary to give students the opportunity to succeed in a global economy.
Family: Wayne Bragg and his wife Kate have lived in Shelton for 30 years and have five adult children, two of whom attended Shelton schools.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Shelton Board of Apportionment & Taxation, corporator – Griffin Hospital
David Gioiello (D), incumbent
Current job: IHSC, LLC
Education: St. John; University of Detroit, B.S., physics; Wayne State University, environmental amd occupational health.
The most important issue in this election: I want to work to improve the test scores of Shelton students. I want to continue to work to use our funds more effectively.
Other issues: The BOE and the BOA must learn to work together, be honest with each other and put the needs of the students first.
Family: Married for 40 years and I have two grown children. My daughter lives in Milford and my son lives in D.C. Both of my children have advanced degrees. My daughter is part owner of our family consulting firm and my son works for DOD. My wife and I have been active locally since we moved to Shelton in 1981. We are both active in the local Democratic party. We have been active in scouts when our children were young as well as the church we attended.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: No other elected offices. I was treasurer of Highland Golf Club as well as an officer in several national professional organizations.
John Fitzgerald (R)
Fitzgerald is a lifelong resident of Shelton. He attended grammar schools in Shelton, he graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull before attending and graduating from WPI in Worchster, Mass., in 1975 and then going forward to receive his B.S .in civil construction management in 1979. Like his grandfather before him, he has always had a passion for building. He has worked for P J Stella Construction in Massachusetts, as the co-owner of Erin Associates in Shelton and now heads JK Fitzgerald Construction Co. in Shelton. He has provided residents in Shelton and surrounding towns with some of the best built homes in the area that have incredible curb appeal, he says. He is also a property manager, provides excavations services, general contracting and construction maintenance consulting services.
Fitzgerald has utilized his building expertise and construction management services to give back to Shelton as a community service volunteer especially to the Shelton Public Schools. He is currently vice chairman of the Shelton Housing Authority and recently over saw the rehabilitation of senior apartments on River Road. He was an intractable part of the $25 million Shelton High School Building and Renovation Commission and has worked on the renovations committees of Mohegan, Elizabeth Shelton, Long Hill, the Perry Hill schools, along with the Shelton High sprinkler system renovation project and the building of the Shelton Intermediate School in the early 90s.
Amanda “Mandy” Kilmartin (D), incumbent
Current job: Associate director of engagment strategies, Planetree International.
Education: Alta High, Sandy, Utah; Quinnipiac University.
The most important issue in this election: Improved relationships and more effective communication between the Board of Ed and the Board of Aldermen are imperative to the success of our schools. If elected, I am committed to working toward a more collaborative partnership that is focused on a shared vision of success for our schools and community.
Other issues: The social and emotional growth of our children is as important as their standardized test scores. I want to work to ensure we have the resources necessary (counselors, nurses, SROs, mindfulness/ SEL programs, etc.) to support our kids in becoming well-educated, kind, socially competent adults.
Family: As the daughter of a naval aviator, I didn’t grow up here in Conn. In 1995, I moved out to N.Y. for what was supposed to be a temporary, one-year gig. One day, in the summer of 1996, I was working as a volunteer EMT-Intermediate for Greenwich Emergency Medical Services, when Doug walked into the hospital ED. He was home from college and had turned up to work as a paramedic for the summer. Long story short: 20-something years, two kids and a mortgage later, I’m still here. We arrived in Shelton in 2006 with our then 1-year old, looking for a place we could afford to raise our growing family. We saw a lot of potential here for growth and development and were drawn in by the low property taxes. Over the last 13 years, we have grown into a family of four, with two fabulous boys who are both active in the town and school sports programs. Our oldest son is a rising SHS freshman and the other started at Perry Hill School in September. We also have two crazy dogs who love the open spaces here in town and are happy to spend their days chasing birds and squirrels and making friends with the family of deer behind our house. My husband is on the executive board for the Shelton Youth Lacrosse league and currently serves as league treasurer. For us, Shelton provides more than just an affordable place to live. Our friends, our fellow team moms and dads, our neighbors, our incredible teachers; they are our home, our community, and the foundation for this life we…