The Democratic Town Committee announced the nominations of Michael Burke and Sara Parent as candidates for Darien’s Board of Education this November.

On Thursday morning, David Bayne, Darien DTC Chairman, said the committee is proud and honored to endorse Michael Burke and Sara Parent for Darien’s Board of Education.

“Michael brings a wealth of experience and a steady hand, and Sara brings her experience as a highly in-volved parent and a former educator to the Board of Education,” he said.

“At a time when the COVID-19 crisis is testing the very foundations of how education is being delivered to our children, Michael and Sara represent the kind of thoughtful and innovative leadership that is precisely what Darien needs in order to continue providing unsurpassed educational opportunities to all of our children,” Bayne said.

He said that Parent and Burke “represent the best that Darien has to offer and our town is particularly fortunate that they have chosen to run for the Board of Education during this unprecedented time.”

Contested?

There are currently three seats up for re-election on Darien’s Board of Education. Burke is one. The other two are filled by Republicans, including board Vice Chairman David “Duke” Dineen and Dennis Maroney. If Darien Republicans endorse both or another two candidates, the Democrats putting up two candidates could mean that the Board of Ed race is now a contested one. The last time a Board of Education race was contested appears to be 2014. In that case, the two Republican candidates Dineen and Michael Harman, and one Democratic candidate, Burke, took the seats.

About the candidates

Michael Burke is seeking his third term on the Board of Education and Sara Parent her first. From within and without, both have been intimately involved in the Board of Education’s work; Michael as a Board member and Sara in her role with Council of Darien School Parents, of which she is currently Co-Chair. Darien’s education system is facing unprecedented challenges from simultaneous public health and economic emergencies that have stopped traditional learning in its tracks and caused unprece-dented cuts to the Board of Education’s budget.

Burke has served on the Board of Education since 2014. In addition to his general board duties, Michael is the Chair of the Board's Policy Committee. He has also served on the Negotiations Committee which successfully reached agreement with Darien teachers during the last two negotiation cycles.

Michael and his wife Kathleen have two sons, Matthew and Nolan, who are rising seniors at Darien High School.

Sara Parent has held many leadership roles in Darien and is currently the Co-Chair of the Council of Darien School Parents and sits on the District’s Strategic Planning Committee. Sara has also been the Chair of the Holmes School PTO and Chair of the Parent-Teacher Committee at Saint Luke’s Parish School. She has served on the RTM since 2017, and is Clerk of the Public Health and Safety committee.

Parent taught elementary school in both Connecticut and New York City. She and her husband, Greg, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine, both in the Darien Public Schools. Sara said of her nomination:

For more information, please visit www.mikeandsara4darienschools.com.