Board of Education Candidates Discuss Education Funding, Diversity and Special Education.

Democrat Violet Sims. Frank Gerratana photo.

Democrat Violet Sims and Democrat Annie Parker join incumbent Democratic Board of Education member Daisy Sanchez in running for Board of Education opposite Republican Nancy Rodriguez, current Republican Board of Education President Nick Mercier and Republican Board of Education member Mallory Deprey.

The Board of Education is responsible for managing and setting policy for the New Britain school district and city schools. While the Board members are city officials, they function independent of City Hall, except that the Mayor and City Council decide the level of city funding that will be allocated to the schools. School district employees are under the management of the schools Superintendent, who, in turn, answers to the Board of Education.

The election for Board of Education is citywide. Each party nominates three candidates. Each voter can vote for three candidates and the top five are elected out of the six candidates nominated by the two major parties.

Democrat Annie Parker. Frank Gerratana photo.

Democrat Violet Sims is an educator and a doctoral candidate at the University of Bridgeport. She holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the University of Connecticut. In her doctoral studies and educational leadership training, she studied educational law, collective bargaining, grant writing, school finance and budgeting, among other topics.

Sims is a long time community activist and member of the Democratic Town Committee

She says that her goals on the Board of Education are based on both making sure the schools are well funded as well as making sure the money is responsibly managed. She says that she wants to make sure, “All student and families needs are met.”

Democrat Annie Parker is running for Board of Education on a platform of improving education, and specifically making sure the needs of Special Education students are met. She says that she believes in our city schools’ ability to improve, given the right leadership and finances, and that she believes our schools need to, “Improve continuing services for Special Ed students,” and, “to professionalize and improve effectiveness of Human Resources.”

Democrat Daisy Sanchez.

Parker, who, like Sims and Sanchez, is running on the slate of Democratic Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay, has been a New Britain teacher for 37 years. She holds a Masters degree from Central Connecticut State University. Parker’s children attended, and her grandchildren attend New Britain Schools.

She has been a Democratic activist for many years, and is presently a member of the New Britain Democratic Town Committee.

Incumbent Democratic Board of Education member, Daisy Sanchez, currently holds the office of Board Secretary. She is also the chair of the Board’s Personnel Committee.

Sanchez holds a Bachelor’s degree In Human Resource Management. She works as a secretary at a High School in Meriden. She has been active in New Britain politics, working on a number of campaigns, including for former Alderman Tobias Freeman.

Sanchez says that she would like to, “continue to advocate for diversity and minority recruitment along with continuing to make the reduction of class size a priority.”

Editor’s Note: City Republicans were asked for candidate profiles on their candidates and did not respond by the publication of this article.