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Republicans Pick School Board Candidates

NORWALK, Conn. — Classes may be out, but school board elections went into high gear Thursday night. Republicans nominated both familiar and lesser-known candidates for the Board of Education at their nominating convention at the Norwalk Inn.

Current Board of Education Chairman Jack Chiaramonte of District D (Cranbury, Silvermine and West Rocks) will run for a second term. Michael Lyons will run representing District C (East Norwalk), hoping to take the seat of Glenn Iannacone, who is stepping down this fall. Robert Mecurio was nominated by District A (Central Norwalk) and Geoff Kieburtz will run representing District E (West Norwalk and Rowayton). District B (South Norwalk) did not field any candidates for the school board.

Lyons has been a member of the Board of Estimation & Taxation for the past six years. Before that, he sat on the city's Common Council for four years and on the Zoning Commission.

As a Board of Education member, Lyons said he would focus on the fiscal reform and discipline. "I'm hoping to revamp the financial system. We need more financial controls, especially in these lean economic times." In addition, he hopes to improve methods of teaching and curriculum. In the 1990s, Lyons said he chaired a Marvin Elementary School council — a group of parents, teachers and administrators — that used a Stanford University based model for accelerated school reform. "With parent and teacher involvement, we brainstormed new methods for teaching and wired the school for the Internet," said Lyons, noting that test scores improved dramatically.

As a BET member, Lyons considers himself a "consensus builder" who has considerable experience working with the city's department heads. His initial impression of Superintendent Susan Marks is positive. "She is a breath of fresh air. I can work with her."

Lyons, a corporate attorney for Covidien, is a native Norwalker who went through the city's public schools. He has three children who also attended Norwalk Public Schools. James, 22, graduated from George Washington University in 2010 and is training to become a Navy fighter pilot. Claire, 19, is studying to become a veterinarian at Johns Hopkins University. Krystina, 15, is a sophomore at Norwalk High school.

Neither Chiaramonte nor Mecurio, a supervisor for the Water Department and a Republican stalwart, attended the nominating convention.

Kieburtz was there but left early. According to his profile on LinkedIn , Kieburtz is director of energy research at Weeden & Co , a brokerage firm. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in management from Yale. In April, he wrote an article about education on the local blog . He writes, "Reform is urgently needed in the way we educate our children, and everyone has a stake in better education."

Follow as we learn more about the school board candidates. What do you think of the Republican nominations?

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