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  Write-in candidate:

Matt Hoegemann
for Board of Education, Stamford 2003


Matt is a lifelong resident of Stamford and attended Stamford public schools for 14 years. He is currently completing a bachelor's degree in English and a master's in Education, with plans to teach high school English.


The Board of Education has fallen woefully short in its ability to serve
the people, hampered drastically by bureaucracy and politics. It is time for
the community to have a real say in what goes on in the education of our
youth. If elected to the Board of Education I will strive to be the voice of
the teachers and students. There has been a serious breakdown in
communication between the Board and those it has been elected to serve, and
this is unacceptable.

I have no interest in political gain or using the Board of Education
as a stepping-stone. Instead, I wish only to work for positive change on a
community level, where it is needed most. The basics of my platform are as

1. Refocus the board on the fact that we have one driving purpose above all
others, and that is to provide the best education possible for the children
of Stamford.

2. Immediately take action to extend the contract of the current
superintendent, Anthony Mazzullo. The school community at large has spoken
out on his behalf and it is clear that his dismissal is not the will of the
people, but rather a political power play.

3. Work to create a constant and open dialogue between the students,
teachers, and administrators through frequent visits to all schools in the
district by Board members; the formation of a student advisory board; a
“suggestion” box in every school; an open door policy for parents to express
their concerns to the Board members directly, who should not only listen,
but act upon these concerns.

4. Work to develop a strong parent outreach program that includes new
mothers because a good education starts at home and parental involvement
directly affects every child’s success in education.

5. Expand the citywide pre-K program to allow enrollment of all eligible

6. Strongly support the retention and/or reinstitution of arts and music
programs at every level of the school system. There is much more to an
education than just the “three R’s” and these programs have been proven to
make for better students.

7. Continue and expand the schools' involvement with community institutions
and businesses. We have a fantastic wealth of resources in our city and we
should do everything possible to incorporate them into our public schools
through programs such as an increased work/study relationship with area
businesses, more widespread use of our public library system, an increase in
support for programs such as Junior Achievement and placing a greater
emphasis on community based education.

8. Provide better treatment of all faculty and staff in the system. It is
time to put our faith back into the administrators and teachers. Also, we
must continue to provide competitive salaries and benefits to retain and
attract the highest caliber of teachers.

9. Work to refocus community attention on the importance of education, with
the intention of securing more substantial funding from the city to continue
not only to maintain but to expand and enhance our current school system. We
have the potential to be a model school system for the nation and a bold
investment in our mutual future would reap great benefits for all city

10. Put an end to the current micromanagement of financial issues. We need
to stop trying to make a short-term crisis solution a long-term policy that
takes responsibility away from administrators.

11. Incorporate a school safety program that is based on trust and
self-sufficiency. The criminalization of our students only works to
reinforce negative stereotypes and encourage students to “play their roles”
while offering no real defense from any serious issues of safety. The idea
of “us vs. them” is not only ridiculous, but counterproductive. Students and
faculty need to work together as equals to realize their greatest potential.

12. Refine our current drug education curriculum to move away from scare
tactics and threats and onto truthful, reliable information about the real
dangers of drug abuse. Exaggeration and fear mongering only serve to
undermine the perceived truthfulness of the entire program.

Join Matt’s 2003 campaign discussion group

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