A Q and A with Board of Education candidate David Dineen
David Dineen is a Republican incumbent candidate to the Board of Education.
Tell us about yourself.
I am vice chairman, Darien Board of Education, co-chairman, Ox Ridge Building Committee. Living in Darien for 25 years I know the passion in this community around education. My wife is a Darien High School graduate, our oldest daughter as well, our twins are at Darien High School, a junior and her sister in a special needs program.
I have volunteered for the Darien Fire Department, the Darien Fire Fighter Foundation, and been a trustee for the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium. A career banker, I have focused on financial literacy for inner city students and work with the Police Athletic League, NYC Boys Club, and NYC Schools, setting up the first student-run bank branch in the Bronx.
Why do you want to serve on the Board of Education?
I serve on the board because I believe in our BOE philosophy, Schools exist for Children. I believe if we look at any opportunity or challenge with that guiding point we will continue to be a highly performing district.
In what ways or ideas do you have to improve the board?
My overall goal for the board is to execute each day for the student. I want a strategy that delivers the best each day for our students, while building for the future. Build an effective communication strategy, be nimble to get thing done, and be advocates for the right change. Deliver fiscally responsible budgets. Understand what our students need in this pandemic and support the administration with the resources requested.
What is your position on school regionalization?
The state has not provided any solid reason for regionalization that is based on a solid education and financial plan. I would not support it.
What do you think the most important goal you have to achieve by serving on the Board of Education?
Our most important goal at this point is to make sure that we have a laser focus on student’s social and emotional learning and make sure the administration has the resources needed to look remediation that will be needed for our students from the pandemic.
What is your view on the role the board plays in terms of the administration?
The Board of Education hires the superintendent and that person is the education leader of the district. The superintendent role is the daily operation of the district. The Board provides the resources and oversight of the administration.
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 communications and cohesiveness among board members?
I respect each volunteer on the Board of Education and have worked hard to develop a partnership with members that keep our focus on the students. I will work to deepen partnerships with town boards. I would like to see board work distributed better and use the strength of individuals and subcommittees to be more nimble and have a growth and strategic mindset that is a more forward looking view of education.
Finally, why should Darien vote for you?
We need to pause and reflect. Schools are open. We opened in a hybrid model on Sept. 3, learned, and opened full time in-school learning Sept. 29. We need to take a breath, we are learning and adapting each day, the process is fluid and there is no playbook. We need to keep the perspective while we are open many schools have remained closed, many have little or no technology and many have not been able to find teachers. We know there is more work to be done and I am committed to that work.