The following is a press release from the office of State Rep. Gail Lavielle: 

Wilton’s state representative, Gail Lavielle (R-143) was honored for her commitment to education and all of Connecticut’s students by the Northeast Charter Schools Network (NECSN) at a ceremony at the Capitol in Hartford on Monday, May 1. NECSN awarded her its Torchbearer Award, given to individuals that do exceptional work on behalf of Connecticut’s students.

Lavielle was recognized for her advocacy on behalf of not only Connecticut’s charter schools but also her efforts and initiatives to ensure adequate and equitable education funding for public school education during her time in the state legislature.

“Connecticut offers an impressively diverse tapestry of educational opportunities to public school students, and charter schools are an integral part of that system,” said Lavielle, who is Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee. “Our state’s charter schools–which are a complement to, and not a replacement for, neighborhood public schools–are all required to be nonprofits, and ensure that parents have a full range of educational alternatives within our public school system so that their children can obtain an education that best suits their abilities, interests, and learning styles. I thank NECSN for this recognition, which means a great deal to me, because there is nothing more important for the future of our state than ensuring that every child in Connecticut has access to the best education available today. Education is the key to opportunity and success.”

Jeremiah Grace, NECSN Connecticut state director, had high praise for the legislator.

“Rep. Lavielle is someone who is extremely knowledgeable about education issues, including but not limited to charter schools,” he said. “Through her hard work and advocacy as the Ranking Member of the Education Committee, Rep. Lavielle has aided us in identifying and combating measures that would be harmful to charter school students and families. Since meeting her in 2013, I have seen Rep. Lavielle time and time again reach across the aisle, encouraging her fellow lawmakers to be open minded in order to do what’s best for Connecticut’s children. She is a fearless advocate for all kids in this state.”

Lavielle, who has served on the Education Committee since she was first elected to the legislature, is a longstanding advocate for Connecticut’s public schools, including neighborhood schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and technical high schools, and has been a vocal proponent of making adequate and equitable education funding a top priority. A three-time recipient of the “Children’s Champion” award from the CT Early Childhood Alliance, she is also a staunch advocate for the importance of early childhood education.

“Making the resources available to give all Connecticut students an excellent education that will equip them to lead full, productive lives is an imperative,” said Lavielle, “and it is a responsibility that transcends politics. I will continue my efforts to ensure that education is given deference in the state budget.”