New Canaan resident Jess Huetter is seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party for a seat on the elected Board of Education. We put some questions to Huetter about her candidacy. Our exchange follows.
New Canaanite: Tell us about yourself—how long have you lived in New Canaan, what have you been involved with here in town and what has led you to seek elected office?
Jess Huetter: I have lived in New Canaan for just over seven years, having moved here when we returned from London. We chose New Canaan because of the quality of the schools, the character of the town and the relative ease of the commute to New York City. My husband, Jim, and I have an 11-year-old daughter who is entering sixth grade at Saxe and a 7-year-old son who will be entering third grade at South, after attending East for kindergarten through second grade. Getting involved in the New Canaan community was very important to me once I stopped working full time. I have served as the most recent president of the East PTC for two years, treasurer of the East PTC for the two years prior, and am currently the equipment manager for the New Canaan Football Club and the aquatics co-chair for the New Canaan Field Club. Previously, I served as the VP of Communications for the Young Women’s League of New Canaan and the VP of ad sales for Newcomers. I have spent the better part of the last 4 years intimately involved in the running of the East School PTC. I have worked diligently to represent our parent body while also serving the children to enhance their educational experience. I had the privilege of working closely with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi, his administration and the BOE on a number of initiatives that affect our schools and have been able to see first-hand the passion that is required. I am proud of our schools and want to be a part of their continued excellence.
What qualifies you for the office you are seeking?
I have a long history of successful service and achievement with a variety of organizations within New Canaan. This breadth and depth of experience has allowed me to meet a lot of different people, understand what the people of New Canaan need and want, and will allow me to develop economically viable solutions that will work across five different schools and the 4,000-plus students that they serve. Additionally, I have attended nearly all of the Board of Education meetings over the last two-plus years as well as participated in the last four budget cycles with both the Board of Finance and Town Council. I am well versed in the process of how our town works and what it takes to get things done. I understand the need for compromise and fiscal responsibility while ensuring our schools get the resources they need to maintain their excellence and top rankings. I will draw on my finance and operations background to aid the administration in effectively planning and deploying new initiatives along with critically analyzing current projects.
What is your vision for the elected body for which you are seeking GOP endorsement at the July 20 caucus?
We are fortunate to live in a town that understands the importance and value of top-rated public schools. I want to engage the resources that we have in the town: people, time and knowledge to continue the administration’s success scholastically, socially and emotionally. My priorities will be to support Dr. Luizzi and his staff of education experts in fulfilling the district goals. I want to build on the community feel of our classrooms to allow our students to be seen and heard. Dr. Luizzi and his administration made it a priority to keep our children in the classroom throughout COVID, which was so important to their emotional well-being. This has set our town apart from most of the country and I will continue to make setting our town apart a priority.
[Editor’s Note: Between June 28 and July 9, NewCanaanite.com is publishing Q&As with local Republicans seeking party endorsement for elected offices in contested races at the July 20 GOP caucus. We will publish letters of endorsement for the Republican caucus and Democratic endorsement meeting through July 9. Comments are disabled on this post.]