Cowell: After Sitting Side by Side, Personal Attacks are Disheartening

Mona Cowell


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It is an honor to be running for the Board of Education in Old Lyme and I thank the Republican Town Committee for endorsing my candidacy as an unaffiliated voter for this important volunteer position within our community. 

Recently, two letters were submitted to the CT Examiner in an attempt to slander my character and candidacy. The authors, David Rubino and Christine Gianquinto, members of the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee, do not know me nor have we ever met.

My husband and I have lived in Old Lyme with our three children for over seven years. We moved here for the great schools. I have double degrees in Finance and Operations and Strategic Management from Boston College. I have worked on Wall Street and owned several businesses. I have been in education for fifteen years as an instructor, coach and, since moving to Old Lyme, a substitute teacher for Region 18. In May, I finished five years serving on the Lyme-Old Lyme Soccer Club Board, most recently as the President of the LOL Soccer Club.

The letters referenced a Facebook post about vaccinating children as a partisan ideology. Since when is the health of our children political? Decisions about vaccines, especially for children, should be a parent’s choice. Health care providers should always be consulted and I stand for the ability to make medical decisions based on individual circumstances. I am not anti-vaccine. I believe in one’s ability to have vaccine exemptions and the freedom to make that choice. 

David Rubino’s letter states that we need people to function as an “apolitical” group to which I agree. What is fascinating is that he never spoke to two people who are also in the Democratic Town Committee, Anna Reiter and Kimberly Russell Thompson. Both women and others could surely mention the times we have worked together on projects for our schools and town without any partisan conflicts. I find it disheartening that the Democrat Party would choose to attack me personally when we have sat side by side at PTO meetings, soccer games, and so many other community events to support our children.  

Our elections in our beautiful town should be about the candidates and how we can best serve our children, our schools and our community. I am the only candidate for the Board of Education who has worked for Region 18 and has consistently attended meetings, written letters, engaged the public and questioned the administration on decisions that challenged the future of our academic excellence. I am not a “conspiracy theorist” as the DTC claims but I absolutely do stand for open conversations, freedom of speech, transparency, parental rights to make the best choices for their family and medical privacy. My experience with Region 18 as a volunteer, parent and active participant in many activities enhance my ability to represent the best interest of all in Old Lyme while serving on the Board of Education.

As voters contemplate their choices for the November 2nd election, the Republican Town Committee slate is prepared to work cooperatively with the administration and people of Old Lyme to ensure that our schools are prepared for education throughout the 21st century. The upcoming $15-20 million in building projects will require individuals who have the experience and skill to manage large facility investments. We are the best candidates to support our teachers, staff and taxpayers through these large financial decisions while ensuring balanced educational costs to maintain our superior schools. 

Thank you for your consideration on November 2nd and please vote for Row B, leadership with integrity, experience and proven records of success for Old Lyme. 

Mona Cowell
Old Lyme, CT

Cowell is an unaffiliated candidate, endorsed by the Old Lyme RTC for Board of Education