Westport Board of Education candidate: Liz Heyer
WESTPORT — Three generations of Liz Heyer’s family are tied to Westport, and in November she will look to positively impact her hometown if elected to the Board of Education.
In July, Heyer was nominated by the Republican Town Committee as the groups’ candidate in November’s election.
“I was excited and really energized,” Heyer recalled of receiving the nomination. “When I found out, I got a renewed passion for being even more involved than I already have been.”
Heyer said she became more active in education board matters over the past year as the Westport Public Schools community faced difficult challenges, such as the closure of Coleytown Middle School.
“As I saw the community face these challenges, I saw it as important to get involved and help,” she said.
Her connection to the town spans three generations, with her parents currently living in town, Heyer a Staples High School graduate, and her three children currently in the school system.
“Having interactions with various generations within Westport is really important when surveying on the Board of Education,” Heyer said. “While obviously the residents with children in the school system have a vested interest in the school system, I think we still have to think about all of our residents.”
Board of Education candidate
Current job: Community volunteer / Homemaker
Education: graduated from Staples High School and University of Pennsylvania. Attained a MBA from Columbia Business School.
The most important issue in this election: I am determined to ensure Westport Public Schools makes necessary investments in infrastructure and seeks solutions that unify our community, while also creating a powerful, innovative, long term vision for our district driven by our commitment to excellence in education.
Other issues: Hire a highly qualified Superintendent to lead and inspire. Diligently maintain our educational infrastructure. Remediate Coleytown Middle School on time and on budget. Deliver a first-class experience for middle school students, and all students. Collaborate with town bodies to develop strategic investments in education
Family: Married; Mother of 3 children attending Westport Public Schools
Previous elected offices: Former VP Communications, Member of Executive Committee, Long Lots PTA Member, Westport Public Schools Workshop Committee, and Westport PAL Basketball Team Manager.
Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/lizandvikforboe/
If elected, Heyer said she hopes to bring a sense of community.
“Also from my business background I hope to bring an analytical mindset and a strong framework for deicison making,” she added.
Heyer has served on the executive board for the Long Lots PTA and was involved in a districtwide committee for the workshop program at the schools.
Another one of her focuses, if elected, is the infrastructure of Westport’s schools.
“We need to focus on reopening Coleytown Middle School, but we also need to make sure we’re preserving all our educational facilities in the town,” Heyer said.
For BOE members, being open minded is an important quality, she said. This includes being willing to hear all of the facts, comments and concerns.
“You can’t come to something with the predisposition of what the right answer is,” she said, adding being a parent of three has helped her with this quality.
“Being responsive is also really important,” Heyer noted. “The community wants to share their voice on issues, but they also want to be known that they are heard.”
One of the best ways to obtain community buy-in is by letting people know their voice has been heard, she said; additionally, showing the framework behind decision-making can build trust between elected officials and the community.
“I think it can go a long way in helping people to understand a decision even if they don’t necessarily agree with it,” Heyer said.
With elections coming amid redistricting talks, the need for a new superintendent, and reopening CMS, Heyer expressed she is more than prepared to step in right away.
“I’ve seen multiple iterations of districting and infrastructure plans,” she said. “I’ve been in them and have seen them change over time.”
Heyer, who graduated from Coleytown Middle and Coleytown Elementary schools, said she has a long history with the schools.
“I have also been heavily involved in the PTA for several years, the classrooms, and I’ve certainly attended many Board of Education meetings,” she said. “I go to meetings, I listen to what everybody has to say, I read the materials, and I always make sure to talk to people in the community.”
“The schools have always been the beacon of Westport,” she added. “Obviously we want to continue that tradition, but it’s also exciting to work on enhancing that as well as working on the long-term vision for the school system.”