To the editor: 

I am currently a senior at Staples High School and I would like to put forth my thoughts on the value of our current school system as well as some of the candidates running for the Board of Ed. 

I have been educated by the Westport schools since kindergarten and can honestly say I am grateful for the educational rigor that was made available to me all along the way. I am currently applying to colleges and I am proud of the classes I am able to say I have taken. I feel well prepared to apply. 

Before I say anything about candidates, for transparency, Lee Goldstein is a family friend. Every step of my school career, Lee has asked me questions about the classes I was choosing, the activities I was participating in and the sports I played.

She was asking those questions even before she was on the BOE, but especially after. She just enjoys the educational process and helping kids. She wants all Westport students to succeed. 

Lee’s advice over the years definitely helped shape the educational path I took and I am so glad to have had that guidance, especially now as I apply to colleges. Lee has always been a caring, sharing friend and has used her vast knowledge of education to help me personally and for that I will always be grateful. 

I recently met Mr. Phillips when his family donated a jukebox they weren’t using to Toquet Hall (the Westport teen center). I sit on the teen board at Toquet and really appreciated the active interest Mr. Phillips took in learning about the teen center and its many programs and opportunities.

He was interested in learning about all the opportunities Westport students might have, even those outside of the school system. 

Both Lee and Mr. Phillips took the time to ask what I was thinking about. I appreciated that because most of the time, as kids, we are told what we need and not usually asked what we might want. I appreciated that they wanted my viewpoint and I assume that will carry over into their thoughts as they lead the district. 

If I were able to vote, it would definitely be for Lee Goldstein and Neil Phillips. As someone being educated in the school system they both currently lead, I can say it is definitely working well! 

E.J. Herrmann

Staples High School, Class of 2024