I strongly believe that it is in the best interest of Westport Public Schools for Jeannie Smith to maintain her seat on the Board of Education.

As a mother of six children, I have been involved for over 17 years in the PTA at my children's schools. My children have attended public schools in Westport, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and I have had exposure to board members in all three districts. Throughout my experience with these three public school systems, I have never met a Board of Education member who is so passionate and committed to doing what is best for our children and their future.

I still have four children in Westport Public Schools. It is important to me that Jeannie remains a member of the board, given her qualifications and experience. Because Jeannie is the only educator on the board, she brings a unique and critical perspective in decision and policy making because of her years in the classroom and as an educational consultant in Manhattan.

Since Jeannie has four young children in Westport schools, she is clearly vested in its future. While she understands first-hand what is going on at the elementary school level, she seeks out the perspective of those families in the middle and high school levels as well, therefore providing for a balanced perspective of our school system as a whole.

I hope you will join me in voting for Jeannie Smith for the Board of Education.

Laura Rainey