CHESHIRE — Longtime Board of Education member Tony Perugini, a Republican, is the board's new chairman, following a unanimous vote during the group's first official meeting with newly sworn-in board members since the Nov. 5 election.
The board, which gathered Thursday night in Town Council chambers, also selected fellow Republican board member Adam Grippo as its new vice chairman. Former board chairwoman Kathryn Hallen, a Democrat, will serve as the group's secretary.
“You have my word, I will do this role to my best ability,” said Perugini, who is entering his 11th year as a member of the board.
“... The election, that was the easy part,” he said. “... I hope you're snuggly strapped in. It's going to be one heck of a ride — challenging, but fun. The voters have bestowed upon you a great responsibility.”
Grippo told board members he considers serving as vice chairman to be “very important.”
“I hope to serve this position with distinction and honor,” he said.
The leadership vote follows a November election that saw town Republicans tip the balance of political power on the board in their favor. Republicans now hold a 5 to 2 majority on the board.
Last month, Republican candidates Tim White, Andrew Martelli and Faith Ham took three of the four Board of Education seats up for election. Incumbent Democrat Anne Harrigan, who finished third, was the only member of her party to earn a seat.
The results stood in stark contrast to the 2015 election, when Democrats swept all four available seats.
The new board members briefly introduced themselves Thursday night.