Milford Board of Education District 5 candidate: Terri Smith

Terri Smith

Terri Smith

Contributed photo

Party: Republican

Are you an incumbent? (If yes, how many years in office): No

Current job: VP of facilities for large company, managing 36 facilities

Volunteering background, if any: Habitat for Humanity, Humanitarian work in Haiti, Costa Rica, and Mexico, Co-President Moms Club of Milford (two years), Co-director Drama club CPM (three years), basketball coach (two years).

Education: Fairfield University

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

I hope to focus on parent representation, as I feel it is helpful to have parents of children in the district on the board to provide that perspective. I also hope to use my extensive experience with facilities budgets and management to provide that different perspective as well.

What is your stance on the recent calls by some for more input in the curriculum? Do you feel the curriculum is proper, any issues or changes needed in your mind?

I think parents should absolutely be involved in any major curriculum changes and that they should be very clearly communicated to on those changes with an opportunity to provide feedback and have discussion before the changes are made. As a parent, I feel this is not happening. While I have my own opinions about the curriculum, I am more focused on ensuring all parents have a voice and that there is and transparency in these areas.

Your thoughts on the school budget — how it stands now for what is needed in the schools?

I am concerned that our spending is about 25 percent higher than the average for CT per student. Our test scores are not high enough to justify the extra spend and I fear with operational costs rising (utilities, costs of goods and materials, etc) we will not have enough room to maintain our standards and account for these increases without increasing our budget even further. We need more individuals who have real life large budget and business experience on the board.

All candidates can also respond about their reasons for running, time they have lived in the city, and why they are best for the role.

I have lived in Milford for 15 years. Collectively, my children have attended 5 different schools in the district. I have special education advocacy experience and understand fully how the special education department works and what resources are available to students. I believe I am the best candidate for this role because of my many years of experience in facilities budgets and management, my experience personally within the schools and being a parent, and because of my fervent desire to serve my community. I am someone who is passionate about kindness and I work hard to understand and respect each individual's perspective. My main goal would be to ensure every parent is heard and every constituent is represented.