Meet the candidates for the East Hartford Board of Education

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Oct. 18, 2013
- Contributed Photo

The ReminderNews kicks off our election coverage with a preview of candidates for the Board of Education.  Next week we will preview the candidates for Town Council. 

Candidates from both parties were asked the same two questions:
• What is the biggest issue facing the Board of Education?
• Why are you qualified to be a member of the Board of Education?

Jeffrey A. Currey (D) Current BOE chairman

The most important issue for the Board of Education is the achievement gap. With the additional funding from the state, and the continued support from our mayor and town council, we are providing a high quality learning experience for every child, every day as we work to close the gap. The added support from our business partnerships and local volunteer groups allows us to show the residents that our town is rich with opportunities for our children and that the level of commitment from all stakeholders is one that we can be proud of.

The work I have put in over the past four years on the Board of Education, and as chairman for the last two, have given me a wealth of knowledge in order to serve the residents of East Hartford in a manner that they can be proud of. I am, or have been, a member of the facilities committee, curriculum committee, policy & audit committee as well as the finance & audit committee which I previously chaired.  Other experience includes the advisory board for the Community Resource Center, CREC Governance Council, Clerk for EH Economic Development Commission and Redevelopment Agency.

Bryan Hall (D) Current BOE secretary

I am a career professional that works on a high level of achievements, maintains a high level of integrity and thrives on setting high standards for our school district.

As a goal setter and mentor for youth through community outreach on all levels, both professional and volunteering, the opportunity to “give back,” as an elected official and role model for youth who have challenges in seeing a brighter future is my number one priority.

Tyron V. Harris (D) incumbent

I’d like to see an increase in parental involvement at all levels of education. Parental involvement is a combination of commitment and active participation on the part of the parent to the school and to the student.  Here are some ideas that our parents can do to start the communication.  First, attend open house or orientation night.  Second, read the East Hartford Public Schools handbook.  Third, tell the teacher you would like to hear about your child's strengths and weaknesses and ask how you can be involved in schoolwork at home. Finally, read to your child every day.

Today the East Hartford School Board has come a long way and I am proud to be a part of this incredibly dedicated and hard working team of board members, teachers and administrators representing the town of East Hartford. 

Tom Rup (R) Incumbent

The biggest issue facing the BOE is improving our Mastery Test scores. Poor results directly affect our property values and how our town is perceived. I'd like to see us place stronger emphasis on first and second grade reading.  By the third grade our results trail state-wide averages and we're playing catch-up right through high school.  The gap needs to be closed earlier.

A large part of qualification for a job is knowing what it is and isn't. Board members are not educators.  Our job is to ensure the taxpayers' ninety million dollars are spent wisely and insist on results.

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