The five New Canaan Republicans vying for party backing as three Board of Education seats come up for election this fall shared their views Monday night on topics that included district funding, school start times and the elected body’s role with respect to curriculum. Carl Gardiner, Suzanne Harrison, Daniel LaGattuta, Bob Naughton and Julie Reeves are seeking GOP endorsement at the Republican caucus, to be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the New Canaan High School gym. Reeves is seeking to retain a seat she’s held since March, when Hazel Hobbs retired from the Board of Ed, and seats held now by Tom Cronin and Maria Naughton also are up for election. (Maria Naughton is running for Town Council.)
During an approximately 45-minute debate at Town Hall that was attended by more than 70 New Canaan Republicans—including current Board of Ed members, councilmen, Republican Town Committee representatives and municipal officials—the school board candidates introduced themselves and weighed in on some major issues facing the district.
Here’s how they introduced themselves and responded to two key questions posed by moderator Fred Wilms.
Carl Gardiner said he earned a bachelor’s degree government from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and that he’s worked for 25-pls years in the investment industry. A father of three kids who went through New Canaan Public Schools, Gardiner said his own mother was president of the Board of Education in the town where he grew up, and that in New Canaan he has coached baseball and hockey, served on the New Canaan Baseball board and volunteered as a Sunday school teacher at St.