Letters to the Editor


NewCanaanite.com recently received the following letters. (We will publish letters of endorsement for the 2021 municipal election through Sept. 30.)


Letter to the Editor,

I am writing to express my full support for Hugo Alves, Dan Bennett, Phil Hogan, and Julie Toal, for the Board of Education in the upcoming 2021 November 2nd election. I have lived in New Canaan for almost 6 years. It was like a fairy tale living here when we first came. Everyone and everything seemed so perfect and surreal as if we lived in this bubble. The May Fair carnival, the parades at Halloween to the story book Christmas gatherings in the town. These are memories my family and I will never forget. 

What is even more special is seeing these four candidates with young children who we can relate to, run for BOE. I have loved getting to know each one individually along with their spouses and children. These people have become my good friends through this. They are genuine, honest, smart, and care about the children, the schools, and the community. I am saddened to constantly see them slandered by the other party. I didn’t know this was the town I moved to. That there are people so vile and nasty to one another, it sometimes is hard to comprehend. I have never once heard Hugo, Julie, Dan, or Phil speak negatively of the other slate. That alone speaks volumes. 

I have sat back for too long and stayed silent because I was afraid of getting bullied on social media like many others. At what point does this stop with grown women? I don’t want to be silent anymore because this affects my children and their future. When did it become unacceptable to have a difference of opinions and still have the best interest for our community? The other candidates talk about being open minded of different viewpoints, but they have shown repeatedly the exact opposite. This behavior I will not tolerate and are poor role models for our children and district.

I support these candidates and admire their confidence and hard work. I hope that moving forward, others are not discouraged to get involved in our town’s volunteer positions after seeing the unfair treatment of people who don’t support the narrative of the “loudest voices.” Vote Row B.

Shannon Roe

It is our honor to write this letter of support for Janet Leung Fonss, an exceptional candidate running for the New Canaan Board of Education. 

Janet has been an active volunteer within the New Canaan Public Schools. She has served in many roles ranging from chairing events/programs to being on the Board at West School. We have worked together with Janet as co-presidents of the West School PTC. Her dedication, outstanding communications skills and creativity are just some examples of her strengths as a leader. What impressed us most about Janet is her ability to listen. She was always interested in the feedback from students, parents, administrators and teachers. People always felt comfortable talking to Janet because they felt “heard”. For example, as PTC co-President, she knew parents, teachers and administrators wanted more STEM in our schools, so she spearheaded various PTC-sponsored STEM initiatives during her tenure. 

As a 20-plus year resident, Janet continues to be an active volunteer in our community through her work on the Democratic Town Committee, New England Dance Theatre and National Charity League to name a few. Janet approaches all of her volunteer roles with enthusiasm and is a collaborative team member. She asks good questions and always takes in and looks at different perspectives. These qualities are critical to being an effective member of the Board of Education. 

Janet is an experienced candidate who has the ability to look at the big picture throughout all grades. She will undoubtedly ensure continued excellence in our schools and build upon the rigorous academic programs to support all of our children in achieving their maximum potential. Please join us in voting for Janet Leung Fonss along with her running mates on November 2nd. 

Caryn Kelly and Janet Mentore Lee 


Should leadership of New Canaan schools have any checks and balances? That is the critical question in the upcoming BoE race.

Democrats control the national and state executives and both branches of the legislatures. They have an extremely loud voice dictating how our schools are run.

Should that be the only voice? With a BoE majority at stake, we can choose whether our schools are led with one voice – monolithic and leftist – or with some diversity.

A vote for Dan Bennett, Hugo Alves, Phil Hogan, Julie Toil, and Row B is a vote for checks and balances. This is the way to protect and strengthen our schools.

Chris DeMuth Jr


I am writing a letter to fully support Julie Toal for the Board of Education. From the moment Julie moved into this town, she has been steadfast in her volunteerism. After years of service in the Newcomers club, she was unanimously voted in to be the President. This was due to her fresh ideas for the club to make it better, her ability to relate to and make everyone feel special, her organization skills, her kindness and the fact that she was a mom and step-mom to children whose ages ranged from 22 to 2 at the time.

Julie was the first president to collaborate with NCHS’s internship program and brought on a senior intern to help with the club’s social media. This is just one example of Julie’s ability to collaborate and be inclusive. I had the pleasure of working with Julie in Newcomers and she is the reason I originally felt so welcomed in this town. I didn’t need to be in an inside crowd, or on a PTC. She reached out to me and made me feel special, as she does with all people. She can properly relate to every mom in town. If anyone has anything negative to say about Julie Toal, it is a reflection of themselves and their insecurities, not Julie.

In addition to the Newcomers club, Julie has offered her time as a Sunday school teacher at St. Marks for years. She takes care of other people’s children every week, so that adults can have moments of peace to reflect at church. She is selfless with her time, and is constantly giving to children and others to make their lives better. This is exactly what I would want in a Board of Ed member. Someone with no agenda other than to make children’s lives better.

I want to again reiterate that I fully support Julie Toal for the New Canaan Board of Education especially if you are a young person that is new to town. She will welcome you and your ideas with open arms regardless of what club you are in or if you are on any board or PTC. Everyone is equal in her eyes and that’s the way it should be.

Kristen Golubov

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