Note: In the days leading up to Election Day, the Ledyard Patch will run short profiles of all town candidates for council and board of education, along with their responses to three questions that we asked. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Name: John Phetteplace
Education: BA, Roger Williams College
Work Experience: Solid Waste Manager
Civic/Political Experience: Board of Education, 5 years; Facilities Committee Chair; Negotiations Committee; Gales Ferry School Building Committee; Ledyard Center PTO, Past President; Library Commission, Vice President; Ledyard Solid Waste Advisory Committee; Southeastern CT Regional Resources Recovery Authority
Family: Married (Louise), 2 daughters – Olivia LHS graduate, attending Sienna College and Ellie, LHS 9th grade
1. Why are you running for this office?
I have been on the Ledyard Board of Education for 5 years and am proud of what we have accomplished. The next few years promise to be some of the most challenging due to a combination of economic distress and changing State and Federal mandates. I hope to be able to contribute what I have learned to help ensure that the Board is able to reach the goals we have set for ourselves.
2. What do you believe is the greatest challenge Ledyard schools face today, and what would you do to meet this challenge?
The Ledyard Board of Education has many challenges ahead. Although we have made good progress with student performance, we will need to find ways to continue improvements in the District with less funding from the State and Federal Government. It will be necessary to look at all aspects of our current program to find efficiencies. The Board must communicate with residents and garner their support when change is necessary. We know we must ask difficult questions and may have to make difficult choices but we are fortunate to be entering this difficult time from a position of relative strength.
3. How would you rate the performance of the current school board overall, and what, if anything, would you do differently?
Under the leadership of Sharon Hightower and Gordon Strickland, the Board has been very effective. The focus has always been on what is best for our children. Communication between the Administration and the Board is also outstanding. During my tenure, I have seen how important it has been to maintain the high level of cooperation, communication and respect that is currently present between all Board members. All opinions are encouraged and discussed. It is essential for our students that this level of team work continues.