|Norwalk Board of Education, At-large|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 2009|
|Bachelor's||Charter Oak State College|
|Associate's||Parsons School of Design|
Haynie earned an A.A.S. at the Parsons School of Design in 1983 and a B.A. from Charter Oak State College in 2001. She previously served as the director of NorwalkSEEKS and president of the Norwalk PTO Council.
Interview with Sue Haynie
- See also: Norwalk Public Schools elections (2013)
Haynie lost re-election to the board against nine other candidates for four seats on November 5, 2013. She ran on the Republican slate along with incumbent Artie Kassimis and challengers John G. Bazzano and Lauren Rosato.
|Norwalk Public Schools, General Election, 4-year term, 2013|
|Democratic||Heidi Keyes Incumbent||12.2%||6,985|
|Republican||Artie Kassimis Incumbent||12.1%||6,917|
|Republican||Sue Haynie Incumbent||11.4%||6,500|
|Norwalk Community Values||Steve Colarossi Incumbent||3.6%||2,073|
|Norwalk Community Values||Andres Roman||3.1%||1,795|
|Working Families||Shirley Mosby||1.1%||610|
|Working Families||Heidi Keyes||0.9%||532|
|Source: Connecticut Secretary of State, "Municipal Elections - November 5, 2013," accessed December 17, 2013|
Sue Haynie did not report any contributions or expenditures to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Haynie explained her top priorities in the 2013 campaign in an interview with the League of Women Voters of Norwalk:
The Board of Education’s (BOE) first priority should be in supporting Superintendent Rivera’s strategic plan and vision which will be developed with the input of students, parents, staff, community stakeholders and the BOE. For years, Norwalk schools have worked under the labels of a ‘district in need of improvement’, a ‘priority district’ and an ‘alliance district’ — all code words for below-average achievement. With a plan and vision for excellence, Norwalk has a chance to break out of this cycle and become a high performing district.
A second priority of the BOE should be to review the three-year budget projection, which is nearing completion, and align that budget with the strategic plan. The alignment will tell us where we are financially, where we want to go, and where the gaps are. Having a three year budget will give us the time to figure out how we can best stay true to the strategic plan and also stay within budget — this may require finding alternate sources of funding; this may require reallocating resources; this may require doing things differently.
A third priority should be a rigorous implementation of the Common Core State Standards with a strong, embedded professional development component to ensure fidelity of implementation. We also need timely and consistent data review.
Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.
What was at stake?
Four seats were at stake. Incumbents Steve Colarossi, Sue Haynie, Artie Kassimis and Heidi Keyes were on the ballot. Of the incumbents, only Democratic candidate Keyes and Republican candidate Kassimis won re-election to the board. The ballot featured a total of ten candidates, including four candidates each from the local Democratic and Republican Town Committees and a pair of candidates from the Norwalk Community Values Party. The Working Families Party endorsed Democratic candidates Heidi Keyes and Shirley Mosby for the November 5 election. Neither of the Norwalk Community Values Party candidates, Steve Colarossi nor Andres Roman, won election to the board.
Tensions on the board
Sue Haynie, who did not win re-election on November 5, 2013, had been involved in several tense discussions over district policies since January 2013. She engaged in a heated debate with board member Steve Colarossi, also not re-elected on November 5, 2013, over a request to read comments into board minutes in March 2013. Haynie's request was challenged by Colarossi on the grounds that board policy treats minutes as a summary of events rather than a detailed record of each meeting. In January 2013, the Norwalk Federation of Teachers criticized Haynie as an advocate for the district's inclusion in a state teacher evaluation pilot. The criticism cited the delayed roll-out of the evaluation system as an indicator of the pilot's failings. In an interview with The Hour, Haynie noted that she asks tough questions and is willing to try new approaches to improve student achievement.
About the district
- See also: Norwalk Public Schools, Connecticut
Norwalk outperforms the rest of Connecticut based on median income, poverty levels and higher education achievement. The 2010 U.S. Census found the median income in Norwalk was $76,384 while the state median income was $69,243. The city's poverty rate was 8% compared to the state's 9.5% poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (40.2%) was lower than the state average (35.7%).
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- Daily Voice, "League of Women Voters of Norwalk 2013 Voters Guide," Accessed November 5, 2013
- The Hour, " Norwalk Democrats receive endorsement of Connecticut Working Families Party," September 4, 2013
- The Hour, " Haynie at center of Norwalk school board tension," March 6, 2013
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Norwalk," Accessed October 24, 2013
- Connecticut Secretary of State, "Election Results," Accessed October 10, 2013