As a Newtown resident since 1968, I have always felt that it is important to have a former educator from the district sitting on the Board of Education. With thoughtful consideration and after consultation with several educational and elected professionals, I submit my name as a candidate for a seat on the Board of Education in Newtown.
Having taught in the Newtown Public Schools for 35 years, I bring to the table a wealth of knowledge about the philosophy of the district and how it could be implemented. For the first 17 years of my teaching tenure, I taught science (and then math and science) in a homogeneous cluster setting that proved to be enormously rewarding for both the children and my colleagues. For the next eighteen years I worked with intellectually gifted children in the Discovery Program—grades 4-8 and for four years in grades 9-12 as well; another challenge resulting in my keen understanding of what I considered a “misunderstood” population. It was from this position that I retired in 2003 to build and operate the Dana-Holcombe House. With the many community and celebratory events taking place at the Dana-Holcombe House, I am able to understand the pulse of the town in terms of perceptions of the Newtown School system.
“Every child can and will learn well.” A mantra chanted but not true to its words. Some will say because I was so invested in the gifted child that my “hidden” agenda will be this population. I would be lieing if I said that their affect and education is not important to me. Of equal importance to me is the child who sits in a heterogeneous classroom and complains that his/her needs are not being met.
The major Special Education issues that face this new board are complex. My knowing what I know, going to the correct source, and asking the right questions that need to be asked can hopefully enable the system to move forward in a positive direction. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I leave no stone unturned. I was always passionate about my role in the classroom; I am confident that I can reinvent this passion on the Board of Education.
The concerns of this mega million dollar educational business presents questions and answers that can be facilitated by someone who knows where to seek correct solutions to serious problems. While the truth hurts at times, it must be heard and NO positive progress can be made without it. One should strive always to raise the bar. My students heard this message in their sleep. We are in a society where complacency breeds incompetence and stagnates the mind. I look forward to having a positive influence on our schools.
I want to serve the community because I am proud of what I have done and care very much about what takes place in our schools and community. I realize it is time to give back to a school system that has given so much to me in the past. I look forward to serving the community with patience, compassion, open mindedness, honesty, and dedication.
After having renovated the former Mary Hawley Inn (now the Inn at Newtown), Jane Dana Vouros, my wife and 35 year Newtown School System Physical Education teacher, and I built the Dana-Holcombe House where we currently reside with Tai and Annie, our two Shiatsus, welcoming guests from all over the world. The historic Main Street landscape is now completed. Who ever said that dreams do not come true?
The Dana-Holcombe House
29 Main Street