NEW FAIRFIELD—After a contentious few years on the school board, the candidates running for the six seats up for re-election this November hope the board will have a fresh start.
Voters will choose from nine candidates this Election Day to fill the four full-term and two half-term open seats on the nine-member Board of Education. Each full term member will serve for four years while half-term candidates will fill a two-year vacancy.
The board will then appoint someone for a seventh open seat when Chairman Steve Burfeind steps down on Nov. 7.
Of the candidates running for the six open seats, only three are incumbents, meaning the board will have gained at least four new members after Burfeind is replaced.
Most of the nine candidates, incumbent and new, said this will likely be a positive turnaround for the school board, which has struggled with internal disagreement and withering public criticism over the past few years.
“Some portion of the New Fairfield population sees the board as dysfunctional or non-functioning, and I can’t disagree with that,” said incumbent Doug DeRito, who is running for a full term after filling a vacancy last year. “I have tremendous hope for the future with the new board coming on and new leadership on the board, so we can start moving forward.”
The school board has faced considerable public outcry from parents, teachers and residents dissatisfied with Superintendent Alicia Roy, which culminated in arguments among board members when they evaluated her performance earlier this year. Roy announced during that process that she would leave her position after her contract expires next June.
Incumbent Vice-chair Amy…
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