Shelton Board of Education candidate: Lorraine Rossner

Lorraine Rossner

Lorraine Rossner

Contributed photo

Party: Democrat

Background: She is recently retired from a 42-year career with the Shelton Public School System. In her time with the public schools she has served as a classroom specialist on the elementary, intermediate, and secondary levels as well as holding the positions of Department Chair and Professional Development Coordinator for the district. She has served in the administrative positions of Elementary Vice-Principal and High School House Master. She finished her service to the school district as the Assistant Superintendent for the last nine years of her tenure.

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

Budget for the Shelton BOE is very important — without a budget that will allow educational services to grow our city school system will be stagnated. Without proper funding - curriculum, technology platforms, teacher training, programing, and student services will and have been curtailed. How can we justify not providing the best services to our students, parents, teachers, administrators, and educational leadership? Providing a safe educational environment to our students is one the most important jobs of any city government. It is time to allow our educational staff to do the job they have all been hired for and provide them the instructional supplies and services to do that job.

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?

I believe the City should get out of the “school bus” business as soon as possible. The major reasons being; the age and operability of the current bus fleet and the daily responsibility of student transportation during a year that will not be affected by COVID distance learning. Does the City really want to invest in a new fleet of propane buses? This is a huge expense and investment by the city for a transportation system that is a huge responsibility and is probably not as profitable as originally thought. We are entering a school year that will hopefully not be interrupted by any significant “distance learning.” Running a transportation delivery service every day for the whole school year will be very different than supervising a fleet of buses that remained “parking lot bound” during the past two years of COVID distance learning. The City and the taxpayers do not need the current financial burden of running a bus company and the City definitely does not need the economic burden of maintaining and fixing an aging fleet of buses that are approaching the end of their shelf life.

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

There is always room for improvement in the relationship between City Hall and the Board of Education. Good communication can only happen when both sides want the same thing and respect each other’s viewpoints. Discussion is just that — talking about each other’s goals, needs, and wants for the Shelton Public School System. I have been on many negotiating committees with both city and school officials so I know it can be done, however, respectful conversations cannot occur until sniping in the press or during public meetings is curtailed. The most significant responsibility of any city/town government is the welfare and safety and the education of their school age citizens. This is the most important job of any elected official.