Democrats maintained a 6-3 majority on the Board of Education in the Nov. 2 election, and the new board met for the first time Monday to appoint new leadership positions.
Democrats Melanie Stefanovicz and David M. Eisenthal and Republican Richard Kohls were elected to terms beginning this year. Democrats Tracy R. Patterson and Chris Pattacini and Republican Cathy Hopperstad secured seats for terms beginning in 2022.
At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, Stefanovicz nominated Pattacini as the board’s new chairman, calling him a good communicator and someone who cares deeply about the success of Manchester’s schools.
“He’s passionate about the success of Manchester students,” Stefanovicz said.
Pattacini, who chaired the board from 2010-18, accepted the nomination and thanked his colleagues for their unanimous support.
“We’ve done a lot of work throughout the pandemic, and also this last year with race and equity, in a constructive and positive way, and the work is not complete, but I know we’re going to continue that work,” Pattacini said.
Thames was elected as town clerk last week, but his term on the board continues until 2023. Pattacini thanked Thames for his leadership on the Board of Education as its chairman.
“You served with grace and provided very strong leadership to the district,” Pattacini said.
Thames nominated Patterson as board secretary, which fellow members supported. He said her experiences both in corporate America and as a mother and wife make her a great member of the Board of Education.
“It brings and added depth when you have someone on the board who not only cares for children but has skin in the game by having children currently engaged in the educational process here in Manchester public schools,” Thames said.
Subcommittee and school liaison assignments for the new board will be made over the next several days, Pattacini said.
During last week’s election, all Democrats on the ballot were elected, with two of four Republicans also securing seats on the board. Eisenthal, Kohls, and Hopperstad are new members while Stefanovicz, Patterson, and Pattacini were re-elected.
Republican Michael Orsene will continue serving out the remainder of a one-year term beginning this year after filling a vacancy after he was sworn in during an October meeting.
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