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Keith Alexander Joins School Board
By Eliza Hallabeck
After interviewing three people for the vacant Board of Education position on Tuesday, November 9, the school board voted 5-1 to name Keith Alexander to fill the Republican seat.
The seat was vacated by Republican Christopher Lagana on Monday, October 18. At the time, Mr Lagana said he was resigning for personal reasons and the decision had nothing to do with party politics or conflicts.
“We thought all three candidates were strong,” said Board of Education Chair William Hart. “They all had really good qualifications.”
Each person who applied for the position also had a wish to work toward the betterment of the community, according to Mr Hart.
“We thought, of the three, he was the best,” he said.
Mr Hart said Mr Alexander’s history of being involved in the school district stood out, and Mr Alexander expects to be sworn into the position on Friday by Newtown Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia.
“I’ve been involved in the schools for a long time, although as my kids have gotten older there is less involvement,” said Mr Alexander.
His involvement in the district started with PTAs, and with working on the PTA websites until the school district started its own website.
When the opportunity became open on the school board, Mr Alexander said he took it. He had been attending school board meetings and Legislative Council meetings prior to applying for the open position, he said.
Mr Alexander said he knows being a member on the school board means attending more than the every-other-Tuesday night meetings.
“I think budgeting is the thing everyone knows about, but there is so much more that the Board of Education does,” Mr Alexander said.
Mr Alexander pointed out the school board hears presentations and oversees many things in the school district, citing a presentation at the prior board meeting from Newtown High School Guidance Department Chair Cathy Ostar on the computer program Naviance.
“I think that will be a pretty interesting part of the job,” he said.
School board Vice Chair Debbie Leidlein voted against the motion to name Mr Alexander into the position. All other board members – Mr Hart, Andy Buzzi, Jr, David Nanavaty, Richard Gaines, and Lillian Bittman – voted for Mr Alexander.