Shelton Board of Education candidate: Amy Romano

Amy Romano

Amy Romano

Contributed photo

Party: Republican

Are you an incumbent? (if yes, how many years in office): Yes, one term

Current job: Self-employed family owned and operated real estate developer, interior designer and realtor.

Volunteering background, if any: I have volunteered in the SPSS since 2006

Education: Degree in interior design

If elected, what will be your primary focus — budget, curriculum, another topic?

I will continue to focus on all aspects within the Board of Education including to advocate to further enhance our curriculum. Now that we have new curriculum programs for the lower grades it is important to stay focused and move the upper grades on a pathway forward as well. We currently have programs being piloted for math at the upper middle and high school levels. By investing my time on the finance committee and staying abreast of the budget, I will be able to assist with advocating these needs and others that arise to make goals come to fruition.

What is your stance on the city-run bus company? A positive or negative for the school district, and what would your stance be when time to go back to bid/negotiate with the city?

The bus driver shortage has been a topic since COVID started as last school year. We had missed/late bus runs, massive driver shortages, quarantines and many upset parents. The reality has now sunk in and this shortage has hit us not only in schools but thousands of businesses nationwide. This week I just happened to read an article from parents in Westport complaining of their bus driver shortages and that they would like to see a GPS system installed on their buses so it can help track where the bus is. Shelton is finally ahead of those towns.

The city run bus company is currently working on adding a GPS tracking system to the buses that the parents will be able to access. They have upgraded the software system, consolidated bus routes and is undergoing training staff on the software to stay ahead of problems. The BOE has also hired an assistant that is working in central office to help the parents with finding answers quickly to problems that arise.

Yes, there have been some bumps in the road this school year but not nearly as much as other towns are experiencing nor what we experienced last year. We are finally moving in the right direction and I feel confident that our team has improved communication with parents and we will keep seeing improvements based on the changes that were put in place. When it is time to discuss the bus contract, I feel that the board will need to look at cost combined with performance. I feel a bit apprehensive on how these other bus companies could even perform as they are experiencing the same if not more shortages, as they service multiple towns. It will certainly be a topic that will require collaborative conversations and decisions based on these factors and possibly more.

Your thoughts on the school budget — how it stands now for what is needed in the schools? How would you help to continue better relations between the BOE/mayor/Aldermen?

SPSS is moving in the right direction. We have new curriculum, additional support staff including reading and math coaches, school counselors, technology upgrades and we even just hired an additional elementary teacher to stabilize class sizes. There will always be department needs but I can say I feel comfortable where we stand today from where we stood when I was first elected in 2019.

Budget season will be upon us right after election. The new Republican BOE members, BOA, Mayor and Superintendent have re-built the trust that was destroyed by previous administration and board members. We were very transparent through this year’s budget process and the BOA were very appreciative of our efforts. By having that line of communication open I feel confident we will be able to find a solution to balancing next year’s budget as well. I will continue to vocalize that the Chairman and the Superintendent stay in contact with them to keep the collaboration and communication in constant motion.