Jim Gaston, member of the town’s Board of Selectmen, has said, “Being an Elected Official on the Board of Education is perhaps the most difficult job one can have on any Town Board, Committee or Commission.” Both Democratic candidates to the Board, Michelle Embree Ku and Laura Main, are up to that challenge. Each candidate brings diligence, intelligence and a balanced perspective in education that will make them some of the best candidates put forth by the Democratic Town Committee, much like the former gifted teacher and current Democratic Board of Education member, John Vorous.
Michelle Embree Ku believes this is a critical time for Newtown, one which requires a renewed focus on preparing our children for the future. “I truly believe I can make a valuable contribution to the Board, through data-driven decisions, advocating for a transparent and inclusive process, and encouraging a more cooperative spirit…I would like to see our district develop a comprehensive education Strategic Plan with input from all stakeholders – parents, teachers, administration and the community. I would also like to see continued support for and augmentation for programs that support the potential of each student. It is imperative that we expose every possibility for enriching the full education experience of our children while balancing the need for fiscal responsibility.”
Michelle Embree Ku holds a B.S. in Animal Science, and a Ph.D. in Pathobiology. She has served as an Adjunct Professor, Brown University, and worked as a research scientist at RI Hospital, as a Quality Assurance Associate at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and a Reproductive Toxicologists at Lederle Labs. Locally, Michelle has served on the Charter Revision Commission, been the editor of the PTA newsletter, and volunteered for the Newtown Volunteer Task Force, and March for Change. Ms. Embree Ku has three children in the school system.
Laura Main will bring a wellspring of knowledge and experience to the Board. She is an Elementary School Principal with experience as a classroom teacher and instructional specialist in both public and private schools. Laura has earned a Bachelors of Art in English, a Masters of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and a Sixth Year Degree in Education Leadership. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Instructional Leadership. Laura has also published five books on education. She has two boys who attended Newtown Middle School, has been married for eighteen years and lived in Newtown for seventeen. She has been a member of the Board of Directors at Children’s Adventure Center for more than ten years, and is an active member at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Michelle and Laura look forward to serving Newtown using their extensive professional experience to enhance the decision-making process needed for hiring a new superintendent, and balancing the educational needs of all children with costs to taxpayers. Both see balance playing an important role in this important work.
Thank you, and please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 5th!