Monthly Archives: October 2021

Meet Sherman’s Board of Education Candidates

Town Tribune Ad Oct 28, 2021.

Kate Kelley Frey (D)
Kate Kelley Frey seeks a position on the Board of Education. Kate is an elementary school teacher with 33 years of experience in public education and this would be her first run at an elective office. She hopes “To volunteer my time and give back to a town that has supported and given so much to me personally, and to my family over many years.” She also said. “My expertise in curriculum design and best practices would fill a practical need currently existing on the Board of Education (BOE). Running for a seat on the BOE is a stroke of good fortune: to have the special abilities to give back and a strong sense of indebtedness to Sherman.”

Kristin Grasseler(R)
Kristin Grasseler has 20 years of experience in the relocation industry with expertise in customer service, employee management, home sale, global mobility, and executive-level support She has board experience with the Ostomy Awareness Foundation and the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation. Kristin says that she has made many wonderful friends in the community over the years and hopes to be able to serve and support the families of Sherman.
Her goals are to: inspire transparency and collaboration among the board and the community; ensure that children can thrive in a safe and inclusive environment, and encourage common sense and mindfulness as Sherman tackles the maintenance of The Sherman School building.

James Neunzig (D)
James Neunzig has served on the BOE for the past four years and was recently appointed Chair, lie now seeks a second term. The owner of J.P. Gifford Market. Giffords Catering, and JP Gifford Cafe. James says that “Having served [on] the BOE for the previous four years, I am eager to continue the momentum of that work.” He went on to say that “My style is to work in partnership with parents, other citizens. and town leaders to address the important issues [that are] meaningful to the Sherman community. Investing our tax dollars wisely towards the best school experience for not only the near-term but also for the future is essential to me.”

James Philipakos (R)
James Philipakos works in the banking industry as a mortgage originator and has served on several boards and committees, including the Regional YMCA’s 11 nance Committee and the Northem Fairfield County Association of Realtors (NFCAR).  James has also participated in many town efforts, such as the Senior Housing Commission and a separate committee set up to investigate senior tax incentives. He says that his goals for service on the BOE are very simple, “I will communicate with our community and town officials as best as I can; I will make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of the children, I will keep an open mind, and I will respect others.”

Matt Vogt (D)
Matt Vogt has served on the BOE for the previous two years and now seeks a full term. As a small business owner, he says that he will continue to bring “my experience in operations and budgeting, with an understanding of the balance needed between the financial requirements of operating the school district and the realities of its existence within the framework of such a small town.  A lifelong resident of Sherman with young children in the school. Matt says  “I also feel an acute responsibility to maintain this highly valuable center of our community for our town and for the future generations of Sherman School students to come.”


Support Kate Frey for Board of Education


From Town Tribune Oct 28, 2021. To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to encourage Sherman voters to support Kate Frey in the November 2 election.  Kate is running for the Board of Education and is a most qualified candidate having taught for 33 years in the public school system.  It is important to note that her professional work in curriculum and best practices in education will bring a much-needed perspective to the BOE in a time of transition.  Kate also believes in working collaboratively and respectfully to attain the best outcome for our Sherman students and community.  The needs of the students are Kate’s top priority.

I encourage you to support the Sherman School System by electing Kate Frey on November 2.

Dr. Francis Muska



From Town Tribune Oct 28, 2021. To the Editor:
I have great admiration for those who volunteer their time to help run this town. Especially those who manage to work full time and still take the time to serve. I am a frequent patron of James’ J.P.Gilford Market and Catering Company and wholeheartedly support the owner James Neunzig for a second term on the BOE. Hospitality is one of the most difficult businesses, and to succeed, you have to think on your feet and deliver your best every minute of the day. That is the kind of experience our kids in Sherman deserve. Please join me and vote for James Neunzig on Nov. 2nd.

Stephen Fisher, Sherman

In Response to 10/21 Hudson et al on Attacks on James Neunzig’s Character

From Town Tribune Oct 28, 2021. To the Editor:
Last week several people took aim at James Neunzig. James has only been the chair for 3 months and yet has recently come under attack by a minority group in the Board of Education who did not get the new building they had hoped for.  The mentioned “coup” -like attempt was, in fact, a majority of the board voting down costly measures to the taxpayers. Unfortunately, the minority had hoped for a very expensive building project and was not fixing the problems that have been plaguing the school for years. I support James Neunzig’s approach to fixing the school without those costly measures.

Please vote for James Neunzig on Nov. 2 so we can keep moving forward in the right direction.
Julia Tisdal, Sherman

Re-elect James Neunzig to the Sherman Board of Education

From Town Tribune Oct 28, 2021. To the Editor: Sometimes I cannot help but worry for the future of our town. Volunteerism, a vital ingredient without which our little government cannot function, is waning. I wonder if we have become too aggressively critical of our leaders, most of whom are volunteers. The world is a tough place, and if we continue to blame the messenger anytime bad news needs to be delivered – I suspect we will continue seeing volunteerism decline in Sherman.


James Neunzig is running for another term on the Board of Education. A very intelligent, warm, detail-oriented individual, James has successfully led his retail/food service business through multiple recessions, and our current pandemic. Over the last 20 years he has mastered the delicate balancing act of providing excellent customer service, while maintaining a happy staff of employees. With considerable help from his wife Kara, James has additionally somehow managed to balance professional success, and raising three kind, sweet, and also very intelligent children.


James is NOT a politician. As a prime example: In concert with a team of experts and stakeholders, James has had to deliver some rather painful news to the Taxpayers in Sherman. Naturally, this letter cannot provide room for discussion around school facilities, or any other ongoing BoE issue. The point is that James refuses to pretend the situation will resolve itself – even if we choose to hide from it. Political damage simply does not factor into his process.

James brings the skill set, integrity, and passion that we need from our volunteers. Please join me in sending a big “Thank You” to him, and to all the others that serve our town. Through their sacrifice Sherman continues to be a most wonderful place to live.

Kenric Gubner


Endorsing Ann Gerschefski for Sherman’s Board of Assessment Appeals

From Town Tribune Oct 28, 2021. To the Editor: Ann Gerschefski will be on the November 2nd ballot as a candidate for Board of Assessment Appeals in Sherman. Ann looks forward to representing all Sherman residents thoughtfully, objectively, and respectfully.

Ann’s 15 years as a Realtor have taught her that every real estate situation is unique, and every client is unique. Her solid educational background (Phillips Academy Andover and Barnard College) taught her to look at issues from every angle. Her combination of rational non-partisan thinking and client-centered service will be a great benefit to Sherman’s residents as the Board addresses questions of property valuation.

The motto of Ann’s alma mater Phillips Academy is “non sibi”, meaning “not for self”. As past president of New Fairfield/Sherman Animal Welfare, and as a current volunteer for FISH of Sherman, Ann looks forward to extending service to others by serving on Sherman’s Board of Assessment Appeals.

Please cast your vote for Ann Gerschefski on November 2nd.

Endorsing Jeffrey Ginsburg for Zoning Board of Appeals

From Town Tribune Oct 28, 2021. To the Editor:
Jeffrey Ginsburg has the right experience to be a valued addition to the board. He was trained and had practiced as a professional engineer. He has experience in real estate purchasing and a keen sense of fairness. I trust that he would consider every case before the board, objectively and thoroughly.
Please vote for Jeffrey Ginsburg for Zoning Board of Appeals.

Our children and community need Kate Kelley Frey on the Board of Education

To the Editors:

On Tuesday, November 2nd, I am voting for Kate Kelley Frey, for the Sherman Board of Education.  Kate, as a teacher, has given most of her life to education and proven her deep commitment to providing the best learning experience for all children for the past 33 years.

She is a professional who will bring vital skills to the Board in the most current best practices in education and curriculum development.  In fact, Kate holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum Development.

Kate, as a long term resident of Sherman, knows our community well, values small town living, and understands that the Sherman School is a critical aspect of why people love it here.

Please vote for Kate Kelley Frey on Election Day, our children and community need her.

Frey, Neunzig, and Vogt for Board of Ed 

From Town Tribune Oct 21, 2021. To the Editor:  The Sherman School takes pride in providing a safe, congenial, and creative experience for all Sherman students.   On November 2nd, the voters of Sherman have an opportunity to ensure that the school will continue this tradition by electing James Neunzig, Kate Frey, and Matt Vogt to the Board of Education (BOE).

Kate Frey is an experienced educator who has been teaching for 33 years in public education.  Her formal training in K – 8 curriculum and proven practices in instruction will add a needed element to our Board.  Kate is a consensus builder, a necessary quality for the Sherman School community.

James Neunzig is running for election to the BOE and is presently the Chairperson.   A resident of Sherman for over twenty years and a parent of three Sherman school graduates, James brings a strong business and financial acumen to the position.  I find his communication style authentic and honest. His top goal is to provide an effective and efficient educational system for the students now and in the future.

Matt Vogt, a lifelong resident of Sherman, is presently a member of the BOE.  He is very active on the BOE maintenance committee and has spent considerable time studying the physical plant of the Sherman School.  His experience, knowledge, and communication skills are essential for the board at this time.

Vote for Frey, Neunzig and Vogt on November 2nd.

Robert Gamper