Wilton Board of Education candidate: Savet Constantine
Committed. That is the word Savet Constantine uses to describe herself.
“I am committed to everything I do,” she told the Bulletin. “I am committed to family, committed to giving children all the tools they need to succeed, committed to helping my friends, committed to serving the community and committed to giving back.”
The 49-year-old Democrat said she would bring that same level of commitment to the Board of Education, especially in advocating for a smart school and smart town partnership to strengthen the Wilton community. “I want to continue to have a strong school system for the kids and the community,” she said.
With two older children, one a senior in Wilton High School, the other a junior in college, Constantine has sent 15 years volunteering in the Wilton schools, including as PTA president at Middlebrook and Wilton High School.
“I have learned so much from that experience and have an all-encompassing view of what our district does for the community and our students,” she said.
Constantine sees her strengths as a combination of experience working with people and understanding the education budget.
“The main issue facing the school board is the budget. The education budget is the major portion of the overall town budget, which affects taxes. With 80 percent of the school budget being labor costs, the challenge is to look at spending it efficiently. We need board members who will dive into the budget to ensure it efficiently and effectively delivers what this town needs,” she said.
Through her experience with the PTA, Constantine said she knows how important funding is for schools. “I can delve into the budget and ask questions about what we are spending our money on and are we using it efficiently and for programs that directly benefit our children’s education,” she said.
To that end, Constantine said she would work collaboratively with the Board of Finance at budget time.
Another issue facing the schools, Constantine said, is dealing with anxiety and stress among children. “Everything is digital for children, leading to problems with anxiety and stress,” she said.
She supports efforts by the schools to provide anti-bullying and anti-hate speakers and would work to make sure there is adequate funding to continue these programs.
She would also like to see improvements in communication, and utilizing technology better in order to communicate with parents and the community. “Communication as a whole can be improved for parents to better recognize what is going on in the schools,” she said.
As a PTA president, she said, she understood the need to get information out, listen to parents and administrators, and take the next steps to get people together, such as community forums for people to talk face to face.