Westport Board of Education candidate: Lee Goldstein
WESTPORT — In challenging times, some choose to step up to make a difference.
For Lee goldstein, co-president of Coleytown Middle School PTA, seeing the impact of the school’s closure on the town was more than enough motivation to become actively involved.
“I attended every Board of Education meeting and pretty much every single other sub-committee meeting to get a resolution,” she recalled. “Now, I believe I can better serve our students and community by having a seat and voice at the table.”
In July, Goldstein was nominated by the Democratic Town Committee alongside Youn Su Chao as candidates for the Board of Education in November’s election.
“I am very excited to be running, and couldn’t be happier that my partner is Youn Su Chao,” Goldstein said.
As co-president of Coleytown PTA during the school’s closure, she made it her duty to become an advocate for not only her school, but the community.
“We worked closely with other PTAs and parent groups, faculty and administration, and Board of Education members, as well as elected officials on the Board of Finance an RTM to find the best solutions for the district as a whole,” she said.
With the closure of Coleytown, the departure of the district’s superintendent and Staples High School principal, the district faced a year of great change. However, Goldstein said the challenges reaffirmed that, at it’s core, Westport is a town that values education.
Board of Education candidate
Current job: volunteer
Education: Graduated from Norwalk High School then attended and graduated Yale University. Later attained a secondary teaching certificate from Sacred Heart University.
The most important issue in this election: The biggest issue facing the Board is the hiring of a permanent Superintendent; it’s the linchpin of all the other work. It’s a significant opportunity to engage the community and stakeholders in an open process about our shared goals and priorities and our specific-to-Westport vision for our schools.
Other issues: Other important issues include the budget, developing a comprehensive facilities and maintenance plan, re-opening Coleytown, determining districting, addressing start times, and bringing the community together. More salient is how the Board will handle whatever issues arise, with responsiveness and accountability.
Family: Husband: Charlie Dockter. Two daughters: Nora (senior) and Lucy (fresh person) at Staples High School. my father Marvin Goldstein and my dog Rita.
Previous elected offices: Board of Education member, Bedford NY / Library Board Trustee, Pound Ridge, NY / Currently in Westport, member: Community Advisory Committee / Westport Arts Advisory Committee / Westport Public Art Collection Committee / Writing tutor Mercy Learning Center
Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/Chaoandgoldstein2019-105370737491979
“That’s a powerful shared value, and we must meet any challenges with a spirit of trust and teamwork,” she said.
If elected, Goldstein said she aims to bring a fresh perspective to the BOE. One of the aspects she hopes to improve upon is responsiveness as a BOE member. Returning emails and ensuring comments are addressed are important, Goldstein said.
“Transparency and accountability are the most important values I share,” she said. “I appreciate the public comment portion of all our town meetings, but people need to know that their concerns and questions are heard and followed up on.”
Goldstein said the board’s first priority is hiring a permanent superintendent who will serve as the linchpin or all other work. Other items include implementing a fiscally prudent budget that will connect the board’s strategic vision and goals, developing a comprehensive facilities and maintenance plan, reopening Coleytown, determining districting, and addressing start times.
“The board must remain responsive to the conerns of all stakeholders,” she said. “All the work must be rigorously, publicly, and honestly evaluated for outcomes.”
She said a great school board member must be an effective communicator and must remember listening is as important component of communication as speaking. These were traits she noted she also exemplified.
“I believe people have appreciated my ability to empathize and my willingness to work hard — respectfully and collaboratively — to serve the best interests of our students, families and district,” she said.
Goldstein said her experience as a former high school English teacher and former BOE member in Bedford, N.Y., were all reasons to believe she was fit for the job.
“I will work tirelessly to ensure our schools continue to make us all proud of Westport,” she said.