LEDYARD BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES
Chairman Anthony Favry has been a Ledyard resident for more than 14 years. He has been married to his wife, Kristin since 2004 and they have two children in the Ledyard school system. Anthony leads the national group life and disability practice at MetLife where he's been employed for over sixteen years.
Anthony's hope for the BOE is to have members that support a healthy, respectful group dynamic versus conformity. During his tenure on the BOE, Anthony has advocated for community inclusion and full transparency to foster respect within the community as well as encourage the community's trust in the school system. He approaches key strategies and decisions that impact the school system long-term rather than single-issue resolutions.
Anthony has worked hard with the members of the BOE and Superintendent to build trust and a symbiotic relationship with the Town Council and Mayor, as well as the other town committees. He believes that healthy public schools and accountability of teachers and administrators will not only attract people to the town, but it will also build pride and respect within the community.
Mike Brawner is running for re-election to the Ledyard Board of Education, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Finance and Negotiations Committees. Mike has served on the Board of Education since 2015. Mike and Maureen have been residents of Ledyard for over 21 years, and have 3 children; Emily, Megan and Kevin, all graduates from Ledyard Public Schools. Mike is employed by General Dynamics Electric Boat and has been heavily involved in community service for years, including active involvement and leadership roles in the Ledyard Youth League, Parks and Recreation, and the Ledyard Athletic Booster Club.
Mike, as Chair of the Finance and Negotiations Committees, believes in a fiscally responsible budget that does not spend more than the town can afford while ensuring program reductions and overcrowded classrooms do not penalize the students. Mike works towards proactive, budget conscious, long term school technology and infrastructure planning to minimize continuous unplanned tax increases. He also recognizes that open, 2-way communications between the Board of Education, the Town Council, and the community are essential for a successful Ledyard Public School System.
Brandon Graber grew up in North Stonington and graduated from Wheeler High School. He later attended the University of Lowell where he earned his BS in Physics. After a short time working around the Northeast, he returned to Southeastern Connecticut where he has lived in Ledyard since 2007 with his wife Lorraine. Their four children attended the Ledyard School System where they participated in many athletic, musical, science, math, and social organizations. Three of them graduated from Ledyard High School as Ledyard Scholars. Brandon has been very active in the Ledyard community. He has coached many youth soccer teams. He was the treasurer of the Ledyard Soccer Club. He was involved with the Ledyard High School Music and Athletic Booster Clubs. He has chaperoned music and ski trips as well as the Gettysburg Trip. Brandon has been extremely involved within the Boy Scouts of America. He has been a merit badge counselor for Troop 16. He was a member of the District Round Table for the Mohegan District of the Connecticut Rivers Council. He proudly watched as two of his sons earned the rank of Eagle Scout and he has mentored others to similar achievements. He was equally proud of his daughter when she completed her Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership Training (SEAL). He also went with two groups to the Philmont Scout Ranch for 100-plus mile back-packing adventures.
Brandon is enjoying his time on the Board of Education. He brings his strategic planning and emergency preparedness expertise from his position at the Connecticut State Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) and his work at Millstone’s emergency response teams. He has participated with CABE, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. The training that CABE provides broadens the mindset of what it takes to represent a community. Brandon believes in the three pillars of education: the students, the educators, and the community. Each of these requires a strong foundation supported by fiscally responsible policies that brings each pillar to its highest achievement. Every decision that Brandon makes balances the need of all three pillars to provide services to prepare our students to be productive members of society. Each student has a special place in Ledyard and deserves the support of the community to provide a safe and effective environment to learn and develop physically, intellectually, and socially.
Steve Munger has been a member of the Board of Education for 5 years. He arrived in Connecticut from Japan in 1993 as a Navy Master Chief Petty officer and his family moved to Gales Ferry in 1996 after he retired with over 24 years of service. He lived in New Jersey until joining the Navy at the age of 17 after graduating high school. His love for sports had allowed him to wrestle through his mid-40s and he has coached wrestling in Ledyard since 2014. His commitment to our youth led him to involvement in local politics and to continue that commitment as a member of the Board of Education. He managed a supermarket for 12 years and currently supports our military by working for Balfour Beatty Housing. He has been married for 46 years to his wife Eileen, has a son Michael who serves as a Ledyard soccer coach and referee, and two grandsons involved in Ledyard sports.
Steve believes in small and effective government and is committed to ensuring the children of Ledyard receive the best education possible.
Laurel Wiers has been a resident of Ledyard most of her life, leaving for only the seven years it took to pursue her Master’s degree. She and her husband Eric were married in 1996 and have three children in Ledyard public schools. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been practicing for over 20 years. She started Lighthouse Counseling in Groton more than ten decades ago, which has since grown into a group practice serving New London County. She is also the author of Betrayed, Not Broken (Morgan James, 2015) and a national trainer for Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), teaching other clinicians how to treat PTSD with this specific model of therapy. Laurel spent three years serving as an adjunct instructor at the college level. She taught classes at East Carolina University in the Child Development and Family Relations Department and taught a semester at Mitchell College.
Like it was for so many others, the year 2020 led Laurel down a road where she began to pay closer attention to the local and federal government. As a result, she explored opportunities to become involved with and serve her town. Laurel believes in small government and open communication among community members. She believes students are best served when parents, teachers, administrators, community members, and the students themselves are involved in the dialogue around educational decisions. She believes ongoing feedback from the community should influence policy and goals so that the schools are a reflection of what the community wants versus individual agendas.
As a lifelong resident of Ledyard, I am very excited about this opportunity with the Board of Education. Being born and raised in this town, going through the Ledyard school system myself and now having three kids of my own in the district, I have a vested interest in the decisions that the board makes regarding education in Ledyard, and the students these decisions affect.
I have been a nurse for 15 years, with a Master’s degree in Nursing Informatics. I spent a few of these years as the school nurse at Ledyard High School, and most recently have been working in the labor and delivery unit at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. Prior to this, I spent seven years in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. I have frequently volunteered for PTO sponsored events at Gallup Hill and the Middle School, and have joined the team planning the safe grad party for the class of 2024 seniors. I finally have the time to be more actively involved, and look forward to advocating for the students of our town while supporting their academic journey.