Pat Doyle is a write-in candidate for School Committee

Fri, 10/23/2020 - 12:15pm
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Ed. note: Given that early voting has already begun on Block Island, the paper felt that potential voters should know that there is a third candidate running for School Committee, aside from announced candidates Annie Hall and Jessica Willi. Anyone who wishes to write in Doyle’s name on the ballot must officially write the name as ‘Patricia Doyle’ in order for the vote to count.

Pat Doyle, who previously served eight years on the Block Island School Committee, would like to return to that volunteer position as a write-in candidate. The School Committee is a five person board and two seats currently do not have official candidates. Sitting members Annie Hall and Jessica Willi are both running for re-election, and board member Persephone Brown is not up for election this year. This leaves two open seats, one of which Doyle would like to fill as a write-in, and the other one will be filled by a Town Council appointee.

The way Doyle sees it, when someone serves on a Block Island board, decisions and discussions don’t necessarily focus on narrow issues, but rather touch on the entire community.

“It’s a way to support the community and learn about it. You’re talking about family needs and kids’ issues. The primary goal is the education of our kids, but everything is interconnected,” Doyle said when she sat down with The Block Island Times. She said that, especially in these times, that “teachers and parents need to be supported, the best leadership needs to be brought in, and we need to be fiscally responsible.”

Doyle has plenty of school and administrative experience, aside from serving on the local board (an experience she said she “loved, loved” doing.) Prior to buying a house and finally retiring on Block Island, Doyle worked for 30 years in the Danbury, Conn. school system, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. That was a school department with 8,000 students.

“Having been in schools for 30 years I know how the whole team has to work together — the school community, the parent community and the teaching and support staff all have to work together, and you work with the community,” she said. “We’re working closely with the medical sphere now, and psych services. I can bring my background into these because the issues are the same everywhere.”

Doyle said she and her husband Tom, who also serves on a number of town boards, have “14 grandkids, from pre-K to one just getting her master’s degree. I hear about these issues from my family. I get from these kids a great education on the social and emotional impacts all this has on families and teachers.”

Doyle pointed out that when someone writes in her name as a write-in candidate, the ballot must be filled out as “Patricia Doyle” or the vote will not count.