Four Democrats In School Committee Primary For Three Seats
Incumbent Chairwoman Deidre Gifford and newcomers Brian Warburton, Eugene Quinn, and Carolyn Mark face off Tuesday.
Four Democrats will be on the primary ballot for East Greenwich School Committee – only three will go on to the general election on Nov. 6.
Deidre Gifford, chair of the School Committee, is seeking a second term. Carolyn Mark, Eugene Quinn, and Brian Warburton are seeking elected office for the first time. The EG Democratic Town Committee has endorsed Gifford, Mark, and Quinn.
EG Patch asked the four candidates what they would bring to the School Committee if elected. Here are their answers. (Click on their names to be directed to their profiles.)
Brian Warburton: I feel that my experience as an educator, a high school coach, a parent of children in the EG public schools provide me with a unique perspective from which to evaluate and approach the issues. Additionally, having worked extensively with instructional technology, I bring a hands-on, in the classroom understanding of the best ways to roll out new technology to students and teachers. This is particularly important in helping to set the direction for technology in EG schools. Finally, with a teachers contract negotiation coming up, I feel I can bring a fair and balanced view of the best path forward for EG.
Carolyn Mark: While I appreciate the fact that our schools are among the best in the state, like most parents in East Greenwich, I don’t think being the best in Rhode Island is good enough. We are preparing our kids for a global economy, which requires having educational standards that meet and exceed the highest standards from around the country and around the world. I see myself as a person who is able to look at complex issues, weigh options, balance considerations, and find alternatives. My work style is collaborative, and I count as a personal strength the fact that I don’t bring a single, burning issue with me to this office. We have way too many issues that need our full attention, and I believe that, to be successful as a school district, we need to be firing on all cylinders.
Deidre Gifford: I have been on the school committee for the last four years, and chair for the last two. I also had a child in the district for 13 years and was a mentor for 10, so I know the buildings and the staff well. In addition, as a physician and healthcare executive, and as an active member of the EG community since 1995, I bring an ability to work effectively as part of a team, to develop consensus, and to get things done. Finally, I believe there are very few things more important than providing all of our kids with an excellent educational foundation in life.
Gene Quinn: I bring 27 years experience in industry, mainly in statistics and information technology, and 9 years teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. I served as a mentor in an inner-city elementary school and we were foster parents of a child who graduated from EG high school in 2000. I believe strongly in public education and I want to do everything I can to ensure that the current generation of public school students receives a first-rate education. Every day I see the end results of secondary education in my students, many of whom are preparing to be teachers. I want them to be every bit as good as the teachers I had. Finally, one of my areas of research is longitudinal models of student achievement and their use in teacher evaluations. By mandate all Rhode Island school districts are in the process of implementing these highly technical models and I believe my experience with them can be of value to the committee.