Meet Joe Larcheveque, Republican School Board Candidate

OIB will be running observations, letters and commentaries from Board of Education candidates. Joe Larcheveque, one of three (Dave Burnell and John Weldon are the others) Republicans endorsed, shares his background as well as promises, if he’s elected to the school board.

Dear Only in Bridgeport Readers,
Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and provide some background on my decision to run for the Board of Education. There are significant problems with the current state of the District resulting in a detriment to our children. Seeing the dysfunction, inefficiency and lack of civility that exists on the current Board made me realize that a change is desperately needed. Our community wants and deserves fiscal responsibility, common-sense solutions and effective policy making. I know I can bring this and more to the Board.

I was born here. I grew up on Remington Street in the Mill Hill neighborhood and now reside in Black Rock with my beautiful wife Anne. We are proud parents of three great sons who all attend Black Rock School. My wife and I actively work with other parents to assist the teachers and staff in providing the best possible education for our kids. Giving back has always been important to me, from my early volunteering at the Dinan Center and Red Cross to currently serving as a Board member on the Black Rock Community Council and coaching little league. I truly believe that our children learn as much if not more from our actions than our words. They are more inclined to become active in their communities when they see us take part.

I am a paramedic and the Deputy Chief of Training at Stamford Emergency Medical Services, a not-for-profit ambulance company. I started my career as an EMT in Bridgeport in 1986. As a healthcare provider, instructor and director, I have gained valuable experience in working with diverse groups, building consensus and working in a team environment to meet the needs of my employees and the citizens of the communities we are proud to serve.

Many parents struggle with the decision of where to send their children to school. Some move out of Bridgeport or take on the burden of private or parochial school tuition. We have outstanding teachers and staff in our public schools and with hard work and a team approach, we can make the District the envy of the state and a model of quality, community-involved public education. To start, we must restore the Bridgeport Board of Education to a civil, productive body that works together with one overarching purpose: to provide the best educational opportunities possible for the youth of Bridgeport.

I will reach out to every neighborhood, to members of any and all political parties. I am committed to working hard to gain support across the city. Here are my promises to you:

• I PROMISE to engage the community and tirelessly advocate for all students, teachers and staff.

• I know that the reputation of the entire school district is reflected in the behavior and attitude of the members of the Board of Education. I PROMISE to be always be civil and respectful of my fellow Board members, administrative officials, parents, students, teachers, EVERYONE. I will work to reach beyond party labels and build consensus for true progress.

• Federal and state governments are not consistently reliable sources of funding, and city taxpayers already bear a heavy burden. I PROMISE to look for partnerships with area communities, universities, trade schools, corporations and employers, in an effort to provide pathways that would prove beneficial to all, as the best workforce is an educated workforce.

• I PROMISE to be well-acquainted with district policies.

• I PROMISE to base my decisions on the facts.

•  I PROMISE to vote at all times in the best interests of our children and the school district.

• I PROMISE to listen to opposing views and be able to defend the outcome of Board’s decisions derived from honest and respectful debate and analysis.

• I PROMISE to work hard to improve district communication with students, parents and the community.

• I PROMISE to maintain strict confidentiality on all sensitive matters pertaining to the children and personnel and schools which, if disclosed, would needlessly injure anyone.

Please contact me with any questions or suggestions as we move forward. Thank you.


Joseph Larcheveque
500 Lake Avenue



  1. For the past week there has been a buzz around the Internet regarding Joe Larcheveque. The majority of the people commenting on Joe feel the only thing he is missing to be a much better BOE candidate is an “l” at the end of his first name. Good luck, Joel Larcheveque.

  2. Jo–thank you for posting this. Can you elaborate more on the point of “I PROMISE to engage the community and tirelessly advocate for all students, teachers and staff.”
    How do you envision engaging the community? I see you have a Facebook page, what other methods will you use to interact with the members of the community? How can you get people in the community who have withdrawn from interacting with the boardmembers over the years (for various reasons) back involved? How will you get the private and parochial parents involved and caring about what is going on in the public schools?

    I wish you well and hope your entry into the race raises the level of commitment and dialog among all candidates.

    1. Thank you CaptainDavidHawley. Great questions. We must engage the community as a way to celebrate and accelerate progress and reach out to all community stakeholders as well as those who feel disenfranchised or have opted out of the Bridgeport Public School system. All too often urban schools are looked down upon as inferior to their suburban, charter or private counterparts. I am constantly surprised by the many misconceptions that exist. If we better communicated with the community, I am confident many would stay put and see firsthand the great things that take place in our schools day in and day out. To help accomplish this, we should be generating a steady flow of story ideas and press releases that highlight our successes, our outstanding and talented teachers and staff, and our ambitious students.

      Another is to encourage bidirectional communication and hear from those who have something to say. I would encourage public input and would like to see the Board proactively seek out parents, teachers, students and others to address the Board on the great things going on in their schools, as well as the areas of improvement that need addressing. I cannot justify any decision to support or oppose an issue if I do not seek out and listen to the views on all sides of the issues. My opponents will hear from me about their concerns just as often as my supporters.

      You mentioned Facebook. Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and the Internet in general are powerful (and often free) tools to get our word out. We should assure our website is current with information relevant to the community and have a mechanism in place for those seeking information or reporting a suggestion, issue or concern.

      Television and Internet-based video are also valuable resources that reach broad audiences. Board of Education meetings are taped and shown later on Public Access along with being archived on Soundview Media’s website. When I checked this morning, the most current meeting available online is June 10, 2013. There have been several sessions since on many important issues but the public has no means to view them in a timely fashion. We must also look into ways to use the Internet and public access to showcase our schools and cover important events that take place such as student performances, parent workshops, and teacher development sessions.

      Hope that helps. I look forward to working hard to bring these ideas and others to fruition to improve our children’s education.

      Thank again!

      1. Joe–Thanks for the reply. I think engaging people and listening to the frustrations (and successes) out in the community will go a long way in bring the disenfranchised back into the process. I look forward to board members who will advocate for transparency on all issues, and actively seek the opinions of residents across the community; those with students in public schools, private, parochial, no school-age children and taxpayers without any children. You never know where a good idea might come from.

        Again, I wish you well, as well as admire and appreciate you and the other candidates for taking up this cause.

      1. BlackRockGuy,
        From a parent’s perspective, I have seen some positives come out of the last several months under Superintendent Vallas. That said, the full story has yet to be written and I have read much of the negative content from current and prior system stakeholders as I have the positive stories, and while I have some concerns, I look forward to sitting down with Paul Vallas or whoever the District superintendent is come November and develop a working relationship so we can achieve the best possible education for our kids. That relationship might involve some civil debate and opposing views, but it will be done with the best interest of Bridgeport’s children in mind at all times.

      2. No I don’t, AZG, I think he is overpaid, under credentialed and simply should not have been hired in the first place. Don’t come out of retirement to find work as a mind reader.

  3. *** Great start, Joe. I look forward to hopefully hearing info on the other candidates for BOE before making a committment. S. Castillo goes without saying as far as getting my support but I can see myself splitting my vote towards possible good Republican candidates! *** GOOD LUCK! ***

  4. “I PROMISE to vote at all times in the best interests of our children and the school district.” If only all Board of Education members promised to do this! Thanks for making the kids your focus, Mr. Larcheveque. You are a breath of fresh air.

    1. BridgeportBooster–Thanks! That is the main reason why I am running. It is all about our children and giving them every possible opportunity to succeed. It seems so simple yet I am amazed time and time again by many of the statements and actions of current Board members. It appears they have forgotten why they are there.

  5. I am leaving for vacation with the family and taking some “light” reading along!!! The list includes:
    -2012-2013 and 2013-2014 BOE Budgets
    -Administration and Instruction Policies
    -Bylaws of the Board
    -Code of Conduct for Students and Staff
    -Community Relations Policies
    -New Construction Policies
    -Parent & Family Engagement Policy
    -Safe School Climate Plan

    I am looking forward to the work we will all do together on behalf of our students!


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