Leonardo is running to represent Lyme on the school board

Lyme — Stacey Leonardo, the co-chair of the Lyme Consolidated School PTO, is running for a seat representing Lyme on the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education.

Leonardo, who is married with two children in second and fifth grades at the Lyme Consolidated School, said she wants to help the school district in any way she can and be an advocate for students and parents.

"I think it's important to be supportive of the school system in any way possible," said Leonardo, 40, who has worked as an early education teacher and served as a board member of the Community Music School.

Leonardo said she is particularly passionate about elementary and middle school education, which lays the foundation for success in high school. She said while there's already a big push for high achievement at the high school level, she wants to ensure younger students have the skills they will need to achieve by high school.

The vacant seat for Lyme comes as longtime board member Beth Jones has decided not to run for re-election. Mary Powell-St. Louis, whose current term ends in 2019, also represents Lyme on the 9-member school board for Lyme and Old Lyme.

Jones, a research scientist in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said that after 10 years on the school board, it's time to give someone else the opportunity to represent Lyme. She said there is an exciting slate of candidates this year who bring both experience and new perspectives to the school board. 

Incumbents Richard Goulding, Diane Linderman and Jean Wilczynski, and Martha Shoemaker, who will be new to the school board, are running for the four open seats for Old Lyme on the regional school board.

"While it shouldn’t be surprising, serving on a board of education is incredibly educational," Jones said in an email. "Not only does it provide a window into what happens in the classroom, but it provides a unique perspective on town culture(s) and politics, unions and contract negotiations, budgets, buildings and grounds keeping and buses and computer systems — you name it."

"More than that, it is an opportunity to see — and hopefully positively impact — the children who attend our schools, their families, and the adults who take care of them when they are away from their parents for 30+ hours each week," she continued. "In my 10 years, I have been humbled by the commitment, expertise, professionalism and creativity that every adult in this district brings to their work — they are amazing!"

k.drelich@theday.com

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