LETTER: BOE Chair Should Be Selected on Merit, Not Based on Political Alliances with Our Town Executive

Submitted by Jen Barro, Greenwich Resident and GPS Parent

The Greenwich Board of Education (BOE) is now looking to choose a new board chair. They should pick the strongest candidate – Christina Downey. 

Christina has three children who all attended Greenwich Public Schools K-12, she served on the GHS PTA Board, as a Riverside PTA Co-President, as PTA Council Treasurer, has been on nearly every BOE committee since she was elected in 2019, including in leadership as Chair of the Policy Governance Committee and the Budget Committee. She is fully fluent in Greenwich Public School policies, procedures, and finances. She currently serves on two building committees – experience that will be especially important as Greenwich undertakes the building of Central Middle School and other long-awaited projects. Christina was previously elected to town government on the RTM where she served on the Education Committee and she has been an AVID (college readiness program) mentor through the Greenwich Alliance for Education. She holds both an MBA and a law degree.

And importantly, she comes to BOE meetings prepared, informed, and ready to do the vital work for our schools. Christina is a proven leader who is devoted to the academic success of our students.

The BOE chair should not be chosen based on political alliances with our town executive. Fred Camillo, our current First Selectman, has already stated during his November 18 WGCH radio show that he would support his fellow Republicans on the BOE and choose Joe Kelly for chair if the BOE remains deadlocked after 30 days and the task then falls on the Selectmen.

Joe is described by colleagues as a nice guy, but his resume does not make him the strongest candidate for this job. Even board member Cody Kittle acknowledged that Christina’s resume was a “tough act to follow” when he was asked to speak in support of Joe’s nomination during the November 16 BOE meeting.

The Board will make a second attempt at electing a chair during their *December 1st meeting (7:00pm).

The choice is clear if the BOE is looking to pick the most qualified nominee. Let’s ask them to choose based on merit and vote for Christina Downey. Email the BOE at [email protected] or find individual board member contact information here: https://www.greenwichschools.org/board-of-education/members

Jen Barro, Greenwich Resident and GPS Parent

*Dec 1 at Cos Cob School or virtually via Zoom. Any member of the public can join the Thursday December 1, 2022 meeting at the designated start time using the meeting specific Zoom link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83477600917) or by dialing 646-558-8656 and entering the meeting specific Meeting ID: (834 7760 0917).