SOUTHINGTON — Brian Goralski will end 12 years as Board of Education chairman and won’t be running for reelection in November.
He’s been on the board for a total of 16 years.
“I think everything has a lifespan. I still love what I’ve done. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I think it’s time for new people to come in and do their piece,” Goralski said.
Goralski, a Republican, said he’s proud that he led in a bipartisan fashion.
“I had no problem working with anyone that had the best interests of the Southington public schools at heart,” he said. “I did my best to communicate honestly and do what was best for students.”
Goralski works in the Meriden public schools. While he’s taking a break from elected office, he’s still willing to help the schools or other town groups such as the farm heritage committee.
“Volunteering in my community is something I’ll never stop doing,” Goralski said.
Earlier this summer the education board filled principal vacancies at Southington High School and Depaolo Middle School. Goralski said the district has great leadership and staff.
“This is a good time for me to step back,” he said. “There’s great people that are going to make the schools go in the right direction.”
David Derynoski, a Democratic board member, agreed that Goralski had kept politics out of the board’s proceedings.
“Aside from the time of the election and the election of officers on the school board, the Board of Education is really a non-political board,” he said. “Education should never be political.”
Derynoski said Goralski took his role on the board seriously.
“I have to say that he put his heart and soul into being a member of the school board,” Derynoski said. “Overall, I think he did a great job while he was chair.”
Goralski and other Republican education board members clashed with Southington Republican Town Committee leadership last year, but Goralski said that didn’t influence his decision to leave the board.
Goralski and other Republicans resigned from the town committee as a protest against party leaders removing some town committee members.
He said he wasn’t leaving the board “for any negative reasons” and said he’d been asked and encouraged to run again.
“I hope the Southington Republican Town Committee continues to improve and get better. I think they’re on the better path,” Goralski said.
Goralski was disappointed that he wasn’t able to preside over the renovation of all the town’s schools. The board is planning the renovation of several elementary schools which haven’t seen major work in decades.
“I thought for sure after 16 years I could say, ‘Our schools have been remodeled,’” he said. “I’m proud that it’s starting.”