A Q and A with Board of Education candidate Dennis Maroney
Dennis Maroney is a Republican incumbent candidate for the Board of Education.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been a resident of Darien with my wife, Holly, and two daughters, Becca and Cassie, for 24 years. All three are Darien High School alumnae. I’m employed as a senior vice president perfumer for International Flavors and Fragrances. My profession is to create fragrances for personal care products. I served on the Darien RTM from 1998 until 2017. I was a member of the education subcommittee for 12 years and the chairman for my last five. The last three years I have served on the Board of Education.
Why do you want to serve on the Board of Education?
I wish to repay the community for the extraordinary education my family has received. I believe that having graduates of DHS and no child currently enrolled in Darien schools provides me a different perspective to every other member or potential member of the board. I can see the effects, both positive and negative, the school system has had on my children. I am able to best represent those in town who do not have children in the school system. I do not have an inherent bias; I am there to champion all students. I’m an asset to the board as I am a creative thinker, empathetic listener, and problem solver.
In what ways or what ideas do you have to improve the Board of Ed?
— Improving communication, this includes amongst BOE members and between BOE and administration, other government bodies, and the community.
— Gather and analyze data from recent graduates to understand how well or not Darien schools prepared them for college and/or careers.
— Create conditions for administration to be innovative in the delivery of education.
— Enhance data and analytics to help measure the success of programs.
— Eliminate the use of portable classrooms at all campuses.
What is your position on school regionalization?
I am completely opposed to any type of state mandated regionalization of schools.
What do you think the most important goal you have to achieve by serving on the Board of Education
The most important goal is to have a long term plan for education, facilities, and spending. The board has relied on year-to-year goals for far too long.
What is your view on the role the board plays in terms of the administration?
The role of the board is oversight and governance. Administration runs the schools. The board sets up and monitors finance, policy and accountability to ensure students have the best education.
This has been a challenging election and reopening season. If you are elected or re-elected to the board, how do you plan to work with your fellow board members to ensure open communication and cohesiveness among board members?
An effective board relies on several key elements; members should be well prepared, able to communicate thoughts/ideas, listen to others, respect disagreements without personalizing, and support decisions once made. Utilizing these elements will ensure communication and cohesiveness.
Finally, why should Darien vote for you?
My record on championing mental health during my time on the BOE is unsurpassed. My background as a scientist provides me with views not shared by many in our town. This gives me an uncommon perspective on issues. Questioning, researching, hypothesizing, testing, validating, and communicating are the elements of the scientific method ingrained in my DNA. If you value the mental health of your children, local control of your schools, collaboration and accountability then vote for me.