Two-term Board of Education member and past chairman, Steve Anderson, has announced that he will not seek a third term on the board come the November, 2013 elections.
"It's been two, four-year election cycles; eight years total. My stated plan from Day One was for two terms. I'm a firm believer in term limits and I think, after eight years on the BOE, it is important to let new blood in. So I will not be running again," Anderson told Greenwich Patch Thursday afternoon.
Current Board Chairman Leslie Moriarty, also a two-term member, has also announced that she will not seek re-election.
In a statement sent to Patch, Moriarty said, "it was a difficult decision to make. I have truly enjoyed my time on the Board and, in over seven years, I believe I have positively contributed to the continuous improvement of our schools."
Like Anderson, Moriarty looks at the end of the second term as optimal transition time.
"There comes a time when it makes sense to step aside and let someone bring a fresh perspective," she wrote. "With the term of office being four years and the time intensive nature of the commitment, I decided that now was that time. I will miss working with my fellow Board members, Superintendent McKersie and other members of the Administration."
Valued Educational and Fiscal Skills
Anderson expressed appreciation for his supporters. "A large number of folks have urged me to run again. It's great to know that people value your educational and fiscal skills and want you to stay on, but it's time to let new people with fresh ideas and fresh energy have a shot," said the Republican.
In December 2011, Anderson lost the chairman seat to Democrat Moriarty in a 5-3 vote. At that time, Anderson reflected on the first two years of his second term and what his plans were for the next two.
"I have been honored to chair us for the past two years," Anderson said. "A majority of the board has spoken for new leadership; I respect that and thought it proper to entirely remove myself from the executive committee. I look forward to continue my focus on improving the academic achievement level of every student whole maintaining proper fiscal stewardship."
Anderson said when he looks in his rear view mirror on the past eight years, he sees a number of accomplishments including:
- Rising test scores ("although I wish they were even higher");
- Increased Advanced Placement (AP) participation;
- Establishing very clear student goals for everyone to drive toward;
- Fixing (and getting funding for) outdated facilities such as Glenville and Hamilton Avenue schools, as well as MISA;
- Supporting programs like AVID that help those who need a little extra support;
- Residency verification (a key to fiscal stewardship);
- Working well with the BET and First Selectman's office;
- His budget work (getting the dollars needed while being fiscally conservative.)
Anderson faced some challenges and disappointments during his tenure as well. Notably, "past Superintendent turnover, my mishandling of the North Mianus parking lot issue (100% my fault), having to waste so much Board time and energy dealing with bad Board member behavior," he said.
Anderson has stated repeatedly in the past that his focus has been on what's best for the children.
Two other board members, Peter Sherr and Nancy Kail, are in their last year of their first terms. Kail told Greenwich Patch that she will release a statement on Monday. Sherr did not respond to inquiry.