As part of GOOD Morning Wilton‘s coverage of the elections for the 2019 municipal elections, we have set out guidelines inviting each candidate to submit one 800-word op-ed piece before Election Day. Ruth DeLuca is a Democratic candidate for the Board of Education.

Wilton Schools for Today and Tomorrow

In 2015, two years before my oldest daughter started kindergarten, my husband and I launched a search for our forever town. We gravitated to Wilton for its excellent public schools and small, caring community. We saw that our soon-to-be-neighbors were welcoming, generous, and committed to living in a town where all children have a chance to learn and succeed. We were sold on Wilton.

We now have three children. Two are making their way through Miller-Driscoll and one just started pre-school. I am running for the Board of Education because I love my family and my town and I want our schools to be the very best they can be.

To ensure our schools stay strong, I believe in the importance of local control, oversight, and decision making. That is why I testified in Hartford against the legislative proposals to impose forced school district regionalization on our town. It was this experience that inspired me to run for our School Board.  It made me want to apply my professional policy and legal background to help our town.

I am resolved to do my part to ensure that Wilton continues to be the small, caring community with excellent schools that I chose for my family.

I am a proud product of public school; it was the launching pad for my career and dedication to public service. My public education gave me the foundation to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics, as well as a Masters in public and social policy, and a Law degree from Brooklyn Law School. And more importantly, my public education helped me become an informed and engaged parent and citizen. As a Director at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, I advocated for regulatory policies rooted in science and economic efficiency. As a lawyer, I helped people navigate the healthcare and insurance system.

I pledge to bring that same commitment and passion to the Board of Education. As a Board member, I will work to ensure that policy, both programmatic and fiscal, supports the Wilton education enterprise and promotes each child’s complete development.

As a lawyer and “policy wonk” I love to match philosophy, goals, and expectations with concrete details and guidance. Policy making is a dynamic process that requires planning, study, communication, asking hard questions, and working collaboratively to find creative and effective solutions. In setting policy, I will be guided by our community’s commitment to (1) prioritize student safety and wellness; and (2) to provide challenging, relevant and meaningful learning experiences informed by parent and student partnerships that are personalized to meet the needs of each individual learner.

I will work to preserve and grow the excellence of Wilton’s schools while exercising budget restraint and fiscal responsibility. We must adequately and responsibly fund our programs. We must be both cost effective and education effective.

In times of budget austerity, creativity can flourish. While hard conversations and decisions lie ahead, they should be had and made without diminishing our town’s most valuable asset – our schools. Strong education systems create productive, dynamic, competitive, and healthy communities. They equip our children with the tools needed to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

I will listen and learn from the community and be an advocate for all parents in Wilton. I believe educating our children is a sacred trust that we must cultivate while preserving our town’s fiscal soundness. We are a community brimming with talent and dedication. Together, we can work to combine curricula and culture to create the next generation of productive and resourceful community members and global citizens.

I am Ruth DeLuca. I am running for Board of Education and I hope to earn your trust, support, and vote.