Council Unopposed; 7 Candidates for 4 School Committee Seats

by | Jun 30, 2022

Above: Town Councilors (from left) Mike Donegan, Caryn Corenthal & Mark Schwager at the Town Clerk’s office Monday to file their intentions to run for reelection. Submitted photo

In a replay of the 2020 Election, all five Democratic members of the Town Council have opted to run for reelection and no one else filed, so they are unopposed. There is more interest on the School Committee side, where there are seven candidates for four seats. Three of the four incumbents (all Democrats) have signed up to run, along with a fourth Democrat, newcomer Clare Cecil Karb. On the Republican side, Justin Cahir, Peter Carney, and Theresa Daly are running for seats on the School Committee. 

School Committee Chairwoman Anne Musella is not running for a second term. 

“The work I’ve done for the schools over the last six years – the first two on transportation – have been rewarding and productive, yet have taken a great deal of my time and energy,” she said in a written statement. “It’s time for me personally to channel that energy in a different direction. I do plan to find ways to continue to advocate for our schools, and for public education in Rhode Island. I’m very proud of the foundational work we did during my term, upon which the next committee can continue to build.”  

We will post about EG’s General Assembly candidates soon!

Town Council Candidates

Caryn Corenthal

Age: 64

Occupation: I am a learning disabilities teacher at the Hamilton School at Wheeler

Background: I grew up in New York City.  I lived in Iowa City, Iowa; Libertyville, Ill.;  and Philadelphia, Pa. I’ve lived in East Greenwich for 28 years.

Reason for Running: I decided to run in 2018 because the town was in disarray. I believe this council has restored integrity, transparency and respect to EG. I want to continue to serve the community because we have many important projects (waterfront study, parking study, town master plan) that I would like to see completed.

Previous elected experience: Town Council 2018-20 and 2020-22

Personal: My husband, Mark Zimmerman, is head of outpatient psychiatry and the day program at Rhode Island Hospital. My two children live in NYC.

Mike Donegan

Age: 59

Background: Grew up in Norwich, Conn.; has lived in East Greenwich for 30 years

Occupation: Attorney at Orson and Brusini, Ltd. (specializing in Environmental Law)

Reason for running: 

  1. maintaining an open and transparent government that is engaged with the residents;
  2. preserving our sense of community and avoiding the drama seen on the national political stage;
  3. supporting excellence in education;
  4. reducing the tax burden on residents;
  5. developing fiscally responsible and fair budgets; and
  6. building a local government staffed with talented professionals that will provide the very best services to our residents.

Previous elected experience: Town Council 2018-20 and 2020-22 (served as vice president for both terms)

Personal: Married to Dr. Linda Donegan; five children who all attended East Greenwich public schools; dog named Brady

Renu Englehart

Age: 56

Background: Grew up in Longmeadow Mass.; lived in East Greenwich since 2001

Occupation: Board member, Women & Infants, longtime EG volunteer

Reason for running: I think we still have work to do. I feel it’s important to give back to the town that has been a home to our family. 

Previous elected experience: Town Council 2018-20 and 2020-22 

Personal: Married to Peter for 32 years; three sons – Nicholas, Duncan and Cooper (all attended EG schools all the way through), and one daughter-in-law, Sarah.

Mark Schwager

Age: 65

Background: I grew up in Huntington, New York, and have lived in East Greenwich for 28 years

Occupation: Primary care physician, St. Elizabeth Home, East Greenwich; Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence. 

I’m running because: I want to continue the work of the current Council to implement our goals of open and effective town government, excellence in education, and building a strong sense of community.  

Previous elected experience: Town Council 2006-2010; 2014 to present

Personal: Married to Patricia Flanagan, M.D. (pediatrician extraordinaire); three adult children and one grandchild

Michael Zarrella

Age: 53 

Background: Graduated from Rocky Hill Country Day School, has lived in East Greenwich for decades

Occupation: Criminal defense lawyer

Why I’m running: I think the town’s doing really well and we’ve established a very stabile government in East Greenwich. I’m going to keep running until we get a recreation community center. 

Previous elected experience: Town Council 2018-20 and 2020-22

Personal: Married to Leanne. We have three children in or graduates of the EG public schools.

School Committee Candidates

Nicole Bucka

Age: 44

Background: I graduated from North Kingstown High School, lived and taught in California for 10 years, then moved to East Greenwich

Occupation: Educator 

Why I’m running: I’m just getting started! Thank you, EG residents, for electing me last fall in the special election. I’ve worked hard and achieved a lot, but the first year has had a learning curve even with all my experience. I ask for your support this fall to elect me for a full term.

Previous elected experience: EG School Committee 2021-22

Personal: I am married to Jim, a teacher at EGHS, and have two sons, both students in East Greenwich School District.  

Justin Cahir

Age: 40 years old 

Background: I was born and raised in Providence; moved to East Greenwich four years ago.

Occupation: I’m an executive at a large financial institution which I’ve worked for over 16 years. 

Why I’m running: I’ve decided to run to bolster academic excellence and bring leadership, transparency and partnership with parents to EG schools. 

Previous elected experience: This would be my first elected office.

Personal: My wife Kristine and I moved to EG four years ago with our two boys, Logan (12) and Saxon (5), primarily for the school system. 

Peter Carney

Age: 44

Background: Grew up in North Kingstown

Occupation: Regional Vice President, Caliber Home Loans

Why I’m running: I have decided to run to fiercely advocate that the EG School District maintain focus on its most fundamental principle: Recognize that the first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools (EGSD Policy 1115).  

Elected office experience: This would be my first elected position

Personal: Married to Jennifer with four children, three attending EGSD schools.

Clare Cecil-Karb

Age: 42

Background: I grew up in New York – I went to elementary school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and high school in Oceanside, Long Island. I’ve lived in East Greenwich since 2018.

Occupation: I worked as a social worker for many years but have been “home” since my oldest kiddo was about 3. 

Why I’m running: I’m inspired to run because the students in our schools  – now more than ever – need an environment that supports and promotes their mental well being. I hope that my training as a social worker will help me to serve as a conduit among stakeholders and an advocate for students in the community. 

Elected office experience: This would be my first elected position

Personal: My wife, Rebecca, is an emergency physician with Brown/Lifespan and we have three children, Tess (rising 6th grader) Eloise (rising 3rd grader), and Juniper (rising kindergartener). 

Theresa Daly

Age: 50

Background: Graduated from Iowa City High School, completed undergrad in Lincoln, Nebraska and Grad in Kansas City, Missouri

Occupation: Business professor and academic coach (both college level); former financial advisor 

Why I’m running: I decided to run for School Committee because we, as residents, taxpayers, and parents, were promised an unmatched education for our children and because politics have become centerstage in the current School Committee, and our students and their educational experiences have suffered.

Previous elected experience: This would be my first elected position

Personal: Married to Sean, an EGHS alum, for 17 years; have a 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, and 2 goldendoodles that think they’re people!

Alyson Powell

Age: 46 (on 7/12/22)

Background: Grew up in Warwick; graduated HS from Rocky Hill

Occupation: Attorney, stay-at-home parent

Why I’m running: We’ve been through and done so much as a district and a community over the last four years, but there is always more to do. Looking forward to welcoming and working with our new superintendent to hopefully realize a master plan for the future of EG schools.

Elected office experience: School Committee 2018- present

Personal: I’m married to Dan and we have two daughters, Amelia and Ellie, and ridiculous dog named Iggy

Eugene Quinn

Age: 71

Background: I grew up in Monroeville, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh. I have lived in East Greenwich since 1976.

Occupation: I’m a recently retired college professor. I was a member of the full-time math and data science faculties at Stonehill College, and co-director of the actuarial mathematics program.

Why I’m running: As a 46-year resident, I have paid several hundred thousand dollars in property taxes. I’m proud of what my taxes helped build, and I want to see that investment preserved.

Previous elected experience: EG School Committee 2018-present

Personal: Married to Sheila

 

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