Wilton Board of Education candidate: Jennifer Lalor
Jennifer Lalor “absolutely loves” the work she has been doing in special education for the past 20 years, and now that her children are in fifth and seventh grade, she wants to make more of an impact with her volunteer work. That’s why she’s running for a seat on the Board of Education.
Like many in Wilton, Lalor said she and her husband, Republican Town Committee Chairman Bill Lalor, moved here for the schools. “The quality impacts me not only as a taxpayer but as a parent,” she said.
Lalor, who is running as a Republican, said she sees three main issues facing the board:
Of communication, she said, she would like to see new ways developed to reach out to families so they can hear what’s going on and voice their opinions.
She hopes that every other month, or perhaps quarterly, the board could have an open forum where members of the community can talk with board members.
“I want people to feel they can come to us whenever. If people have a concern, they can walk into a room and have a conversation with us. I want to keep the lines of communication open, to be more proactive instead of reactive,” she said.
Other, simple and cost-effective ways, she said, would be to partner with the PTAs at all four schools and contribute to their newsletters and send out a postcard letting the community know about specific matters before things happen, so everyone can weigh in and have a voice.
“Overall, I’d like to find new ways to ensure people are not finding out about important Board of Education decisions after they happen,” she said.
She would also like the district to “look at every student and figure out ways to support them no matter what their challenges are or their goals might be.” She would like to further the possibilities for enrichment.
As for the school budget, which is the lion’s share of town spending, Lalor said “developing a budget that keeps Wilton schools ranked highly and keeps our taxpayers happy will be a constant challenge. Providing various programs and opportunities for all of our students and teachers to be successful is my top priority.
“These are serious issues that will require a lot of work and due diligence on the board’s part. We’ll all need to roll up our sleeves and do the work necessary to understand these issues. Contending with loss of state funding and other budget pressures means the Board of Education and the Board of Finance will need to work closely together and come up with creative solutions.”
Given her background in special education, Lalor said she will bring experience to the board that hasn’t been there in a while.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” she said. “I do think I have a unique perspective. I’m not afraid of hard work. I’m a team player and I’m always willing to listen, do research and understand any problem before making decisions.”