To the Editor,
I first met Christine Vitale when we were both in the Junior League, volunteering at a K-8 school in Bridgeport, reading to classes and setting up monthly ice cream socials. She was then pregnant with her youngest child but was still always willing to step up. We reconnected a few years later, sitting in the audience at Board of Education meetings, slogging through hours of facilities discussions, curriculum presentations and budget debates that often went until late at night.
After I was elected to the BOE she continued to attend multiple town meetings, supporting our schools, libraries, police and fire departments. When the Roger Ludlowe Middle School needed a PTA president during a difficult time she stepped up. When Fairfield Ludlowe High School was looking for a PTA president a couple of years later, she stepped up. When an opening came up on the BOE in 2017, I asked her to consider running – her years of experience would make her a natural candidate. She won a two-year term, was elected as Chair in 2018, and then in 2019 committed to a full four-year term, remaining as Chair for the next three years. She ran not one but two superintendent searches as Chair, in addition to working with the Board on navigating first the fill pile scandal and its specific impact on our schools, and then the COVID pandemic. Through extremely difficult times she remained calm and focused on the myriad issues facing our students and staff. The amount of time she committed to her unpaid position is incalculable.
When my husband Bill first was considering running for First Selectman, the first person to come to mind as a running mate was Christine. Her experience, intelligence, thoughtfulness, her ability to multitask and her incredible reserves of empathy and grace under pressure would be a boon as both a candidate and as an elected official. I am thrilled and excited at the prospect of casting a vote on Tuesday, November 7 for both Bill Gerber for First Selectman and Christine Vitale for Selectman.