One of the important Town of Ridgefield boards is the Board of Education, which represents over 70% of our budget, but also holds the future of our children within their purview. Elected officials not only must have an in-depth knowledge of Connecticut education statutes, guidelines and mandates, but also have the financial savvy to make responsible decisions on how to apply the limited funds at their control. Many of their decisions certainly require the balancing of two or more important needs, and some most assuredly which bring screams from one side of the other.

The Republican Party nominated four excellent candidates to continue the excellent work that has become the norm and to continue keeping the Ridgefield school system not only No. 1 in Connecticut, but also one of the top nationally. Just look at the success of past graduates from our high school and how they progress to top universities and their careers.

David Cordisco is running for re-election and has been a pillar at the BOE. His children have grown up in the Ridgefield school system. One daughter has just graduated from UConn and other daughter is a senior at the high school.

With his input, our school district has made great strides in many key areas: maintaining a balanced budget, social and emotional health of our children, addressing bullying, improvements in policy development and program enhancement, and dynamic learning for all students. His goal is to continue providing each child the resources to challenge them to learn and be creative as they progress through life.

Kaitlyn Hayes is a former business executive and now wife and mother of two children, whose experience and passion combined will make her a dynamic addition to the BOE. She is an active volunteer, plus a mover and shaker whose goal is getting the job done. She was instrumental in the inclusive playground built at Barlow Mountain Elementary and was a key board member of the Ridgefield Education Foundation. She served on the PTA Executive Board and worked diligently to ensure services were delivered to the special needs student.

An effective communicator, she believes a common sense and transparent budgeting approach will allow obtaining our objectives and maintain our No. 1 education system, while providing the education our children require for lifelong success.

Scott Preston is a corporate CEO with two daughters with the business knowhow on running an efficient organization. He is passionate about encouraging a school environment that not only challenges our children, but brings out their best. He is a keen advocate of ensuring the health and well being of our students, and especially balancing their scholastic achievement with social and emotional growth.

He is a firm believer in the need to provide the right educational programs and 21st Century learning to maximize their full potential.

Sharon D’Orso is a 17-year resident with four children in our school system and has served on the BOE for two years. She is currently a child development professional and has used her experience to guide knowledgeable discussions and assure robust discussion. She will continue to advocate transparency in decision-making on budgeting and operational oversight of BOE teachers and administrators. Such focus will assure proper use of resources and policy decisions that will foster the success and growth of all students as they move on to higher education levels and future pursuits.        

Vote for these candidate on Nov. 7 to assure the ongoing success of our schools.

Alex Karsanidi is the chairman of the Ridgefield Republican Town Committee.