Meriden Board of Education
(members elected Tuesday in bold)
(D) Kyle Abercrombie
(R) Scott Hozebin
(D) Steve O’Donnell
(D) Michael Cardona
(R) Kim Carbone-Pandiani
(D) Mark Hughes
(R) Robert E. Kosienski Jr.
(D) Pam Bahre
(D) John Lineen
MERIDEN — Democrat Kyle Abercrombie is the newest member of the Board of Education after Tuesday’s election.
The recent University of Connecticut graduate and legislative aide for state Sen. Beth Bye was thrilled to see the numbers come out in his favor. Nine board candidates fought for five seats on the panel. Abercrombie won a seat along with the four incumbents running for re-election: Republicans Kim Carbone-Pandiani and Scott Hozebin, and Democrats Steve O’Donnell and Michael Cardona. Abercrombie, 23, celebrated at Democratic Party headquarters on West Main Street before heading to Frontera Grill with friends and family.
“I am absolutely thrilled and excited,” Abercrombie said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “I’m totally grateful for everyone who has reached out to me over the months.”
He said it was a huge team effort.
The board newcomer said he spent the day at the polls, starting at Washington Middle School. After the polls closed, he watched the numbers come in at Democratic headquarters.
“I’m excited people had faith in me,” he said. “I’m ready to work.”
Abercrombie plans include learning as much as he can, and listening to his fellow board members and stakeholders in the community.
Finding alternative methods of discipline, increasing student activities and adopting cost-effective ways to insert technology into the curriculum were some of the key points in Abercrombie’s platform.
At American Legion Post 45 on Hanover Road, where the Republicans and We the People party members were stationed, the energy was high. Republicans were watching closely as the numbers were posted on an overhead projector. Each time a precinct came in with numbers favoring Republican mayoral candidate Manny Santos, the crowd erupted with cheers and applause. In between the excitement, announcements were made for the two incumbent Board of Education members, Hozebin and Carbone-Pandiani, who were pleased with the results.
“It’s exciting,” Hozebin said, who will serve his fourth term on the board. “The district is moving forward. I’m going to continue to work with my other teammates on the board.”
Carbone-Pandiani joined the Board of Education when former board member Kevin Scarpati left for the City Council in 2011. This was her first race, and she will be entering her first full term.
“It’s a great time to be on the board,” she said. “We’ve got some exciting initiatives.”
Throughout the day, while visiting polling stations, Carbone-Pandiani said she was nervous and anxious. Seeing the numbers and being one of the top five vote-getters calmed her nerves. Once she found out that she had won, she said she was “pulling for the rest of the Republican ticket.”