September 28, 2022

Old Lyme Voters Deserve BOE Members With Skill Sets Other Than Education: Vote the Republican Slate for True Diversity

To the Editor:

When I served on the Board of Education, former Connecticut Superintendent of the Year and Superintendent of Region 18, Dr. Betty Osga, opined that a diverse group of people with different experiences and skill sets often made better decisions than a homogeneous group of “experts.”  Truer words have never been spoken, especially as it relates to service on the Board of Education.

The Democrats would have you believe that having the Board of Education filled with like-minded candidates with extensive teaching backgrounds is the only way to ensure the best education for our children.  The problem with that logic is that an absence of diversity of thought leads to the promotion of a single, myopic mindset.  That single mindset leads to an acceptance of proposals and initiatives without question and creates a slippery slope where differing viewpoints are discouraged, ridiculed and silenced.

Being a Board of Education member entails a balancing act of representing everyone in the community.  Of course, we want the best education for our children, but we also want members to be responsible to the community at large.  Further, being on the Board of Education isn’t just about students, it’s about facilities and finances and human resources, too.  Having members that question and probe the administration’s proposals, curriculum choices or mandates isn’t obstruction, it’s their job.  To do otherwise would be neglecting their responsibilities and dilutes the sanctity of having a local, independent Board of Education.

The Republicans have offered a slate of candidates that have very diverse backgrounds and different experiences, who hold different opinions on a variety of topics.  Candidates shouldn’t have to pass a litmus test or walk in lock step with each other to be considered for office.  Rather, each should be judged based on their unique qualities, skillsets, ability for critical thinking, and their genuine desire to promote excellence in education.

I urge you to join me in voting for all the Row B candidates for the Board of Education because they offer the most diverse set of perspectives and skillsets that will best serve Region 18. 


Steve Cinami,
Old Lyme.


  1. Jim Alonso says

    Apparently “true diversity” now means clinging to misinformation and conspiracy theories.

    There’s an elephant in the room that Republicans don’t want to acknowledge.

  2. Kimberly Thompson says

    You’re painting the Democratic candidates with a broad brush there. Dr. Calvi-Rogers worked in industry and completed an MBA before pivoting to education where she served as both a classroom teacher and an administrator. Alexander Lowry, brings expertise in education but also in outdoor education and certification in special education, given new community desire to see more education happening outdoors Alexander could provide some essential expertise to make that happen. Martha Shoemaker’s value to the BOE comes from her 12 years of experience working as a union rep and negotiating teacher contracts, additionally she will be one of only 2 BOE members with more than 2 years of experience on a board of education. Jason Kemp is not a teacher, but he works in the family court system as a lawyer, he would bring a completely different perspective to the BOE and is very experienced in keeping the child at the center of decisions being made.
    As a parent I want experts in education making decisions about education. I do not want to be represented by people who do not understand scientific methods or choose to ignore experts because they have “done their own research”. One of the candidates nominated by the RTC has said “actions speak louder than degrees” do we want someone who thinks so disparagingly of education in charge of our children’s EDUCATION?

  3. When someone uses the word experts in quotes, the it’s fairly clear where they stand. If you needed heart surgery, would you choose a dentist instead of a cardiologist? They both care about your well being and diversity of opinion right?