BOE candidate Interview: Kevin Brennan

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BTN is conducting a series of interviews with the Board of Ed Candidates to find out more about them and what they stand for. We are also including their Top 5…  We asked the candidates to be creative in their top 5. This can be from their top 5 things, top 5 sports, etc…

Our next candidate to participate is Dr. Kevin Brennan. This is his first tim running for BOE.

** We have not yet received the top 5 video from Dr Brennan. Once we do we will update the article.

1. Why are you running for the BOE?
I am passionate about helping kids, it’s my life’s work.   Now I want to take that passion and use it in a way that can have lasting positive impact on the town I love.
2. Why do you think you are a good fit for the BOE? 
My expertise as a child psychologist can make the Board better informed about the psychological, emotional, and developmental well being of the child.  If the Board is serious about attending to the “whole child”, they need me on the team.  There are currently valuable business and education experts on the Board.  I can round that out to create a truly multidisciplinary team.
3. What do you think are some of the top issues you would like to see accomplished in your first  term for the school district? and why are they important?
I would like to address stress and anxiety among the students by expanding teacher and parent education, making access to counseling resources easier for kids, and by making meaningful efforts to reduce “stress culture” in the school.  I would like to reduce or eliminate homework district wide, as more and more studies reveal there is no significant gain in knowledge, but it creates stress and is a time burden that effects family relationships and aids in poor sleep.  Also I would like to find ways to increase physical activity during school hours, whether it be within the curriculum or expanding recess times.  Lastly for now, I want to see that we revamp the school lunch program to give parents better, more nutritious, healthier options for meals at school.
4. Do you support K-3rd students  biking to school  with parents? would you consider allowing them to park their bike in the bike rack? 
Absolutely.  In fact there are talks within the town council about the possibility of adding bike lanes to the streets near schools.  I hope something comes of that as it would make it easier and safer for kids to ride.
5. Are there any changes you would like to see the school district look at? and why? 
Well, the hottest topic, pun intended, is the AC system for elementary schools.  I think this should have been done 10 years ago and the fact that the district is only taking this request seriously now makes me cringe.  My priorities for my own kids, and for the town’s are Safety, Health, THEN Education in that order.  If we can’t provide safety for our kids (and our teachers), than I think we have to stop everything to ensure it, before we consider anything else for the school.
 Any other information you would like to share about yourself? 
I am a young parent, and this town has had a huge influx of new parents over the last couple of years.  I believe I lend them a voice.  I have already met with many current Board members who are excited that I am running and want me to join their team.  There is a progressive movement in this town and on the Board that I hope to be a part of.
 A readers question:  They want to know how anyone can sit on the BOE and not have kids in the school system.
My kids are not in the system yet, but that is far different than a board member who NO LONGER or WILL NEVER have kids in the system. My kids are on the ground floor and will feel the effects of every decisions I help to make k-12. There is no one with more personal “skin in the game” than I running for the BOE. Because of this, you can guarantee that I will be treating the elementary, middle, and high schools with equity. Now, I do admit to a lack of school experience as a parent, and I am humble to the accumulated school experience currently seated on the deus. As such, I will be listening as much as I am speaking. Yet I do hope my lack of experience will also give a silver lining of curiosity over subjects that more experienced Board members take for granted. “Why is it done this way?” “What about something different?” “Why not try?”. These are questions that a young parent like me can bring to shake up and wake up the Board.

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