Wallingford Democrat steps down from Board of Education

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WALLINGFORD — Board of Education member Patrick Reynolds is resigning from the board effective Nov. 11. 

Reynolds, who served on the elected board for over 10 non-consecutive years, cited health reasons for the decision.

“There were committees I wanted to be on, things I wanted to do,” said Reynolds, a Democrat.

Reynolds, 69, said he will miss serving the community and the camaraderie of working with board members, central office staff and school personnel.

“It’s always rewarding doing something for other people and making sure that students get the best possible education that we can come up with,” Reynolds said. 

Board member Kathy Castelli said Reynolds “was not only a colleague but also a friend.” 

“We have served the Board of Education for a very long time and his departure will sting for sure,” Castelli said. “His dedication to this board and to education in general are to be applauded. I learned a lot from Pat.”

Reynolds taught at the high school level until retiring in 2016. He currently teaches astronomy at Tunxis Community College. With this resignation, Reynolds said he will have more time to spend with family and to focus on his career.

Tammy Raccio, Board of Education chair, said she and some other board members will be sharing remarks about Reynolds at the Monday Board of Education meeting in the Town Council chambers at 6:30 p.m.

Filling vacancy

The Town Council will appoint a replacement to serve for the remainder of Reynolds’ term. As Republican Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni explained, a Democrat must be appointed since Reynolds is a Democrat.

Cervoni expects the appointment will be made at the Nov. 22 Town Council meeting, he said.

Alida Cella, chair of the Wallingford Democratic Town Committee, said the committee is accepting nominations for Reynolds’ replacement at its meeting on Nov. 16, but her suggestion is to nominate the Democrat who had the next highest number of votes in the last election, which was Maureen Reed.

"Maureen Reed is a school administrator in Cheshire (Assistant Principal) and has had four children graduate from Wallingford Schools,” Cella said. "She has a unique and highly qualified perspective that we need. In addition, Maureen, through her campaign and continued interest and involvement, has shown absolute dedication and willingness to do the work required to fill this position, and to do so in the spirit that Pat Reynolds is leaving behind – that is a willingness to work across the aisle to get things done for our students, teachers and staff."

Passion for education

Jen Passaretti, board member, said Reynolds served on the policy committee with her and that “he’s always been someone that is very participative in all of our meetings and I know how much passion he has for education.” 

“He will certainly leave a large void on the policy committee because he was such an integral part,” Passaretti said. 

Longtime board member Michael Votto said he and Reynolds share a background as educators and have looked at BOE business through that lens.

“Pat was always a team player. He consistently demonstrated making decisions based on the best interest of students. He was able to bring to the board the impact education had on a typical high school student as well as those at the college level,” Votto said.

Rajan Doering, board member, has known Reynolds since he was in high school.

“He has always been an extremely active member of our town's community,” Doering said. “He is extremely genuine and compassionate, and works very hard to serve our town.”

Reynolds, a grandfather, said he was looking forward to spending more time with family and focusing on his teaching career. 

“I have seven grandchildren and I want to enjoy time with them,” Reynolds said. “... I really love teaching. I’ve been teaching for over 30 years and I really love it.” 

jsimms@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @jessica_simms99


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