Karen: Why I’m Running for BOE

My name is Karen Sulzinsky and I have served on the Ridgefield Board of Education (“BOE”) since 2011. My four years in office have been filled with 500 hours per year of meetings, reading, research and carefully listening to parents and community members.  I am running for re-election because I continue to care deeply about education in Ridgefield.

My Priorities: All means ALL

Our District has 5,058 students, so I have 5,058 priorities. Since my election to the Board in 2011, I have focused on meeting every challenge through only one lens: what is best for each and every student in the District. For Ridgefield to go from good to great, we need to keep our focus on teaching and learning, and replace penny-wise and pound-foolish practices with strategic planning. I believe Ridgefield schools can better prepare our students for whatever futures they choose. Over the next four years, some of my goals include:

  • Balance between testing and meaningful learning
  • Transparent budgeting, financial planning and smarter spending
  • Effective service delivery and oversight of Special Education; increased collaboration with families and fewer lawsuits
  • Support for teacher innovation in the classroom at all levels
  • Continued focus on healthy school climate
  • Foreign language instruction starting in elementary school
  • Parity among all schools in terms of investment and achievement
  • Top-level guidance counseling services at RHS
  • Expanded bus schedules so that our students may benefit from more appropriate school start times, as recommended by health experts
  • Reimagining middle school to encourage innovation

My Community Focus:

Education is the economic engine that keeps our town healthy and attractive. Whether you have a student in the schools or not, excellent school quality boosts property values and encourages in-migration of young families who buy homes. My focus on top-notch education means that every member of our community benefits, not just students and their families.

My Background: Local Business Owner & Parent

I have lived in Ridgefield for 18 years with my husband Jack, my partner/co-owner in our TV/video production company, Underground Productions, Inc. Our clients include HGTV and Food Network, L’Oreal, and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a non-profit serving high-achieving underprivileged students in New York City. Because our company is Ridgefield-based, we pay two Town tax bills, so I am keenly aware of how education budgets impact the entire community. Jack and I are proud parents of Ben and Sam, 10th and 8th graders in RPS.

My Education: Lifelong Learning

I graduated from Princeton University in 1984 with a BA in Sociology, and from New York University in 1986 with an MA in Journalism. I consider myself a lifelong learner so for me serving on the BOE is an ongoing rigorous course of study in economics, sociology, law, communications, ethics, finance and educational best practices.

Why I’m Qualified: Experience and Passion

Serving on the BOE is as exciting as it is complex, as interesting as it is demanding, and is, in my opinion, the best volunteer job in town. Voters should choose me because I am focused on the success of every student in the District. I’ve served on the BOE since 2011, so I understand the full scope of the job: smart spending, transparent budgeting, effective teaching, innovative approaches to learning, appropriate special education, strategic technology investment, intelligent policy and equitable governance. I’m a collaborative, consensus-building leader. I am committed to serving all our students while carefully safeguarding all our residents’ tax dollars. I ask for your support and vote for my re-election on November 3rd.