The Candidate’s Corner 2015

The Whole Slate:

Tolland Board of Education Candidates

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Name: Sam Adlerstein

Party and Position:  Democrat, Chairman of the Tolland Board of Education. Seeking Re-election

Personal:  My wife Sukoshi and I have lived in Tolland for 22 years, raising our two boys, Luke and Owen.  We chose Tolland because of the small town community with good schools, acres of open space, and miles of hilly tree lined roads.  I have Alopecia (hair loss ailment), so you can pick me out in the crowd 🙂

Previous political experience: Chairperson, Friends of Tolland Schools.  Facilitator, school dialogue with the community.  Member, Tolland Energy Taskforce.

Background: Certified Business Coach, facilitator.  Experienced in process improvement, financial management, and organizational change initiatives.

Why are you a BoE Member?

In Spring of 2013, I thought about running for BoE, and decided… naw.  I was already volunteering for enough stuff, like others I too much on my plate.  I had directly experienced some BoE issues that I wanted addressed, and, frankly, I was looking for someone else to do it.  Then I noted how Tolland is a first rate volunteer community, home of dozens of civic, school and sports organizations.  My sons have had amazing soccer, baseball and basketball coaches, and it takes a huge unpaid effort to make those programs successful.  I then decided I would like to invest my time toward the BoE, and contribute to and belong to a better Tolland community.

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Name: Patrick Doyle

Party and Position: Democrat, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Education. Seeking Re-election

Family:  My wife Amanda (a teacher of 16 years) and I have lived in Tolland for 10 years. Currently we live on Lakeview Drive Extension with our son Drew who is a third grader at Tolland Intermediate School.

Previous political experience:  In addition to serving as the current Vice-Chair of the Board of Education, I have experience working on and with boards of non-profit organizations.

Other Experience:  I have a passion for education and feel lucky to have been a national trainer in youth leadership and developing effective partnerships between schools and community-based organizations. I have overseen a $2.9 million annual investment focused on improving education in our region, and served as a steering committee member of Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative. I was also the lead author of Service-Learning Impacting Citizenship, a curriculum and program designed to help young people become more civically involved.

I work as a non-profit/education professional with over fifteen years of experience developing and managing programs and grants. I have demonstrated the ability to work successfully across diverse settings to bring together educators, community-based organization, and volunteers to improve communities.

Why are you a BoE Member? My son Drew is a third grader at Tolland Intermediate School and he is one of my daily reminders as I continue my efforts to serve Tolland, to work towards making the community and schools a better place for the long term.

My experience is grounded by the insights I have gained as the spouse of a teacher, as the father of a great kid, and as a facilitator of conversations with people about their aspirations for our community. I know by listening and working together we can make the education students in Tolland earn and receive even better.

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Name: Kathy Gorsky

Party and Position: Democrat, Board of Education Member, Chair of the Policy Committee. Seeking Re-election

Family:  I have lived on Gehring Rd. in Tolland for 19 years.  I have been married to Tom Gorsky for 24 years and have two daughters, Katie and Shannon.

Previous community involvement:  I have served the Town of Tolland as a volunteer for many years; most notably, I was a Girl Scout leader for 7 years and I have been an active member of the Friends of Tolland Music group as well.

Other Experience:

I am a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and a member of the Connecticut Bar Association.   I have worked as a substitute teacher in the Tolland School District, giving me hands-on experience within our schools.

Why are you a BoE Memer?

I feel that our schools have the potential for excellence and I would like to help them reach that goal.  I am passionate about education and I want to help our kids as they prepare for a great future.  I have worked as a substitute teacher in Tolland, which has given me the opportunity to see that we have exceptionally talented and dedicated individuals working for the benefit of our children.  It’s important to me that we help these individuals to do their jobs effectively while also respecting and understanding the needs of our citizens.

What strengths do you bring to the table?
As a former substitute teacher in town, I have a unique understanding of the day-to-day needs and pressures that are felt by the staff in our schools.  In addition, my law background provides me with the tools to understand many of the legal issues that arise in town government.  I have the ability to closely examine and recognize pros and cons of both sides of an issue and come to a well-reasoned decision.

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Name: Karen Moran

Party and Position Running For: Board of Education Member, Founder & Chair of the Communications and Outreach Committee. Seeking Re-election

Family: Married to Kevin for 19 years. We have two children – Robyn and Jordan. We have lived on Merlot Way in Tolland for 17 years.

Previous political experience: None, but very involved in my community.

Other Experience: President, Tolland Elementary PTO 2011-2013, an avid volunteer in our schools, member of Friends of Tolland Schools, former member of Tolland Friends and Neighbors.

Why are you a BoE Member?  Simply put, I think Tolland is a wonderful community and has a lot going for it. I would like to be part of preserving and improving what we have here. Many families like mine settled in Tolland because of its sense of community and a school system with an excellent reputation. I believe we are very lucky here in Tolland to have hard-working, dedicated administrators, teachers and staff. This is another aspect we need to preserve in our town…for the sake of our students – our future citizens and leaders. We need to provide a great public school system where our staff can do their best and our students can thrive and be ready to face the challenges in this ever-changing world.

What strengths can you bring to the table?
My PTO experience and involvement in our schools has allowed me to have a unique perspective and I would like to continue to support our schools at a higher level.  Organizing, marketing and fundraising skills helped me to lead a PTO volunteer group that successfully raised needed funds for our elementary schools.

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Cliff Vachon

My name is Clifton Vachon of Julia Road in Tolland, the newest candidate for the Board of Education.

I am excited to learn about the issues that matter most to you and earn your trust, and your vote to be a part of the Tolland Board of Education. I was first interviewed by elected officials and other local leaders after expressing my interest in wanting to make a positive difference in my community. My commitment to learning from my neighbors and my new team earned me the invitation to run alongside Sam Adlerstein, Kathy Gorsky, Patrick Doyle, and Karen Moran.

I greatly appreciate the show of support I have already received from so many of Tolland’s leaders and residents.  Through campaigning alongside the excellent team you have in place, I have been brought into the fold.  This team has led Tolland through the most positive change it has seen in a number of years. From bringing in former TIS principle Dr. Walter Willet as the new Superintendent and making serious reforms to curriculum policies, to passing all-day kindergarten  and finding efficiencies to reduce Pay to Participate so every child can play. All while reigning in costs that have successfully passed at referendum four years in a row.  The improvements run deep, impacting every teacher and student in our community.

What excites me most about having the opportunity to serve is that the past two years is just a start towards future success. Not only do I bring new energy, I also round out the team through an important role.  I am passionate about the impact technology and sciences can have in our schools and their connection to higher education. Partnering with UConn and regional businesses will help our future leaders get introduced to these innovative fields. I have already heard from many of you, and will be knocking on doors every weekend to touch base with many more over the next few months.

Town Council Candidates
David “Skoz” Skoczulek
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 41 Kendall Mountain Road, Tolland, CT

Age: 36

Party Democrat

Occupation Ambulance Service, Director of Business Development and Community Relations; Paramedic.

Education BS in Emergency Medical Services Management, Masters in Public Health (MPH), Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management, Health Leadership Fellow, Licensed Paramedic.

Government and/or other experience qualifying you for public office:

Commissioner, Tolland Planning and Zoning Commission; President of the North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA) Board of Directors; Past Chairman of the Board for North Central District Health Department; Member of the Manchester School Readiness Council; Member of the Rotary Club of Manchester; Hartford Business Journal 40 Under Forty.

Rick Field

Rick Field and his wife Michele have been a strong presence in the Tolland community for nearly three decades. He began his career serving in the United States Army and later working for Pratt & Whitney Aviation for 42 years as an Electrician and Supervisor.

Rick first entered public service through Tolland’s Board of Education, which he served for three terms before joining the Tolland Town Council.  Rick has been a part of the council for six terms. In the five terms that Rick has been a member of the town council, he has served honorably and proved himself by becoming chair of the council. After gaining election the council again in 2011, he was voted vice-chair of the town council.

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Name:   Paul Krasusky

Age:  40

Party and Position Running For:  Democrat, Town Council Member

Family:  Born & raised in Tolland, I lived on Carriage Dr. for 27yrs and have lived on Susan Drive for the past 17; my mother Eileen continues to reside on Carriage Dr.  My wife Jennifer & I have been married 17yrs, and have three active and wonderful children – Tyler, Jillian, and Mallory.  Jennifer was previously a tenured teacher with experience in elementary ed, special ed, and high school, which has afforded me great insight into the system / process.

Previous political experience:   None – I am rather apolitical, and am not much of a proponent of the dual-party system.  I tend to view things from a sensible, logical perspective – whether an opinion or view is considered to be Democratic or Republican – and not be categorized into one ‘box’ or the other.

Other Experience:   Commercial Banker for the past 17yrs, managing a portfolio of business loans.  Participant, organizer, and promoter of various Motorsports activities.

  Living in Tolland my entire life, I feel I am an ambassador of sorts for the Town and take pride in its success.  As I historically attend many of the Town meetings, I felt honored by being nominated to run for Town Council and excited by the opportunity to help shape Tolland’s future.

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