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Whitney: Improve programs, contain costs

Published 4:42 pm, Thursday, October 17, 2013
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Whitney: Improve programs, contain costs
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I am passionate about maintaining the excellence of Westport's schools and preparing each one of our students to reach his or her full potential as a life-long learner and contributor to an increasingly global economy. I have a five-year track record of proactively improving our educational programs, while simultaneously achieving the lowest operating budget increases in over a decade.

In my view as chairman, our strategic imperatives are:

Educational leadership: It is critical that we engage, support, and challenge each child we serve, whatever their learning styles, abilities and interests. Ongoing priorities include further strengthening differentiation and fostering critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and resilience.

Proactive fiscal management: In order to focus our resources in the classroom and keep taxes reasonable, we must conduct careful long-term planning, properly maintain our school facilities, and continuously seek operational efficiencies outside of the classroom, building on more than $3 million in hard, annually-recurring savings generated over my term.

Ensuring a safe, secure and positive learning environment in which our children can learn, grow and thrive: It is essential that we address the social and emotional needs of our students, further enhance the security of our facilities, and continue working in close collaboration with our Police and Fire departments on an ongoing basis.

Supporting and leveraging our most valuable asset -- our teachers and other staff members: We must ensure that we hire highly qualified staff members, foster a collegial and collaborative working environment, and give our professional team the training and resources they need to achieve our collective goals.

I am honored to be running with Brett Aronow, who has the passion to keep our schools strong, and the business skills and PTA experience to accomplish it. Please vote for both Elaine Whitney and Brett Aronow on Nov. 5.