Deborah Motycka Downie
Party affiliation: Republican
Are you an incumbent for this seat? No
Education/degrees: BS in Geology/Biology from Bucknell University
MA in Earth Science/Hydrogeology from State University of New York, College at Oneonta
State of Connecticut Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP)
Occupation: Environmental Consultant/Hydrogeologist with Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Civic involvement: Current
Co-President Stonington High School Music Boosters
Stonington High School Drama Boosters (Committee Chairman)
Member of Superintendent's Advisory Committee
Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut
Denison Society/DPNC Board Representative
Boy Scout Troop 76 (Past Advancement and Eagle Committee Chairman)
Mystic Middle School PTO (Bookfair Committee Co-Chairman)
Mystic Middle School School-Based Improvement Team (SBIT) Co-Chairman
Deans Mill PTO Co-President
Previously served on the Selection Committee for Assistant Principal (Deans Mill School) and Assistant Superintendent
Endorsements: Stonington Republican Town Committee
Previous offices held and other government service: Town of Stonington Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission (Chairman and Vice Chairman)
Town of Stonington Stormwater Task Force
Restoration Advisory Board - Naval Submarine Base Superfund Site (Community Co-Chair)
Town of Ledyard Water Pollution Control Authority
What are the major issues for your town? I believe that the budget is the biggest issue facing the Stonington Board of Education. In these difficult economic times, it is critical that the Board of Education work find innovative ways to work within the budget while continuing to provide the best education for our children. The Board of Education will have to be creative to find ways to more efficiently use supplies, facilities and technology so we can maintain and enrich programs, rather than cutting them. A first-class school system is not only critical to ensuring that our kids become productive members of the community but it is also key to maintaining property values in our town. It is important that the Board of Education and school administration continue to foster partnerships with local businesses and other community organizations in order to leverage existing resources for the betterment of the learning environment. Community members have a lot to offer to the schools and we should make the most of this resource. In turn, the student body can also find ways to give back to the community.
What makes you the best candidate for this office? I have been actively involved in the Stonington Public Schools since 1997. I currently have two children attending Stonington High School; my oldest graduated from SHS in 2010. I am familiar with day to day school operations, and educational and extracurricular programs. I have continuously volunteered in the schools, doing a variety of things ranging from helping in classrooms and chaperoning field trips to training with reading specialists. Because I work part time, I am able to visit schools and give presentations on geology and environmental concerns and participate in science and career days. Several years ago, I worked with teachers at the elementary school level to help enrich the Earth Science curriculum. I am an active participant in the Superintendent's Advisory Council, which is a group of representatives from various school groups who works to promote and discuss ideas to improve our schools. Each year I spend time reviewing Board of Education budgets as well as attending budget hearings and meetings understand what goes into the process. I have volunteered in leadership positions at the elementary school (PTO Co-Chairman), middle school (Co-Chairman of the School-based Improvement Team) and high school (Co-president of the Music Boosters). Through these experiences and my involvement on the Stonington Wetlands Commission, I have participated in, and chaired a number of public meetings and I understand the commitment involved in public service. I consider myself a lifelong learner and I am passionate about improving our schools. I believe I can positively contribute to the Board of Education.
What was the last book you read, and what did you think of it? I recently finished reading "Provenance", by Laney Salisbuy and Aly Sujo. The book, a non-fiction account of an elaborate art forgery scheme. I found the book fascinating and would definitely recommend it. I actually learned about the book while reading through this year's SHS summer reading list. The list was updated this year and consisted of a diverse mix of fiction and nonfiction books, selected by teachers and staff. I was impressed by the variety of the staff interests and book choices and both this book and another that I picked from the list were really enjoyable reads.
DEBORAH MOTYCKA DOWNIE
Address: 5 Back Acres Way, Stonington, CT 06378
Marital Status/Children: Married to Thomas Downie, three children ages 19, 16 and 14
Age on Election Day: 52
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