I am announcing my intent to seek one of three Republican Board of Education seats being vacated this November. We have been very fortunate in this community to have had excellent representation on the BOE by Mary Freiberg, Amy Rochlin and Kathy Smith and owe each our gratitude for their tireless service to New Canaan's Public Schools. I hope to be given the opportunity to represent parents and the community at large in this vital role.

My husband David and I have lived in New Canaan for the past 17 years and currently have two children who attend New Canaan Public Schools.

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Our daughter will be attending New Canaan High School in the fall as a freshman and our son will be an eighth-grader at Saxe. I decided to run for the BOE not only because I have a passion for my children's education but I also believe my background in finance and my history of community involvement would be beneficial to the board, particularly in these difficult economic times.

My priorities, if elected, would be to:

Support the excellent work of those in our district of educating our youth to maintain our top-tier standing in the state;

Investigate opportunities to consolidate and reduce costs within the system so taxpayers continue to feel they are receiving good value for their dollar;

Work with the school administration, staff and town bodies to promote next generation programming that will prepare our children for the demands of the future.

New Canaan has a tradition of educational excellence. Many of us chose to move to this community for its high quality schools. If elected to the BOE, I promise to work to maintain these high standards.

I ask for your support at the July 16 Republican Caucus.

Dionna Carlson

New Canaan