Developing a curriculum that encompasses more critical thinking skills while retaining flexibility and adaptability are the key areas of focus for Heather Shea as she seeks re-election.

Having served on the Board of Education for three terms, Shea said she would like to see more critical thinking skills be implemented in the curriculum.

"We need to move away from content-driven curriculums, because the jobs we are training our kids for don't exist," Shea said. "There used to be a defined function for what we would learn, but today we don't even know what the next career will be."

Creating district goals, such as student centered learning, for the schools has been a step in the right direction as Shea said it has brought more collaboration into the system.

"This is an all encompassing goal that's especially important in the public schools because sometimes the teachers know the students better than the parents," she said.

As new goals and objectives are implemented, Shea acknowledged one of the challenges for the BOE will be state mandates which are often unfunded.

"As a community, and I'm talking Fairfield County as a whole and not just Darien, we need to get out in front of these mandates," Shea said.

The ability to adapt and prepare for the future is an important aspect of the job for Shea who said she joined the BOE because she was a numbers person and served as the budget representative. Educating the public about the budget process will be important in the future as state funding continues to dwindle in the district, Shea said.

"I started thinking about the budget and then I became a curriculum junkie. When a spot opened up it was a natural response to raise my hand and say I wanted to join," she said.