WALLINGFORD — A career educator, Democrat Maureen Reed became the newest member of the Board of Education this week.
Town councilors Tuesday unanimously approved Reed’s appointment to serve out the last year of fellow Democrat Patrick Reynolds’ term after Reynolds stepped down effective Nov. 11.
Reed was sworn in Tuesday night. Town Charter dictates that board vacancies be filled by a member of the same party as the person leaving the office. Reed, who has extensive professional experience in education, was the next highest Democratic vote-getter in the last election after Reynolds.
“Ms. Reed has 30 years of experience in education,” said Democratic Councilor Jason Zandri at the meeting. “Not only is she a product of the school system here in town, but all four of her children have gone through the town school system as well.”
Reed has held an administrative role in Cheshire for about 17 years, with her current position being the assistant principal of curriculum at Cheshire High School. Before pursuing an administration position, she was an English teacher for Cheshire Public Schools for about five years.
Prior to working in Cheshire, Reed was an English teacher for the Meriden Young Mothers program, adult education and high school completion program. She has also coached Sheehan High School field hockey and has served as the Berlin adult education director.
“She has a doctorate in education from Southern Connecticut and she served as an adjunct professor for graduate education programs at both Southern and at St. Joseph’s University,” said Zandri, right before he made the motion to approve Reed's appointment to the board. “Her real-world experience is going to be an invaluable asset to our Board of Education and I can’t think of a better nominee stepping into the remainder of this term.”
Reed, a Democrat, ran for the Board of Education last year.
Alida Cella, chair of the Wallingford Democratic Town Committee, suggested that Reed should be the one to take Reynolds’ spot on the board.
“She has a unique and highly qualified perspective that we need,” Cella previously told the Record-Journal article. “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.”
Reed said the reason why she wanted to run for this position was because she wanted to give back to Wallingford.
“Education is my passion and I wanted to give back to the community in Wallingford since I grew up there, went through the school system,” Reed said.
Tammy Raccio, chair of the Board of Education, said she is looking forward to Reed joining the board and for her first meeting on Monday.
"I’m sure her perspective as an educator and Wallingford parent will be very helpful to the BOE,” said Raccio, a Republican.
By stepping into this role, Reed said her goal is “to work with the current Board of Ed members, parents, students and the educators in the district to help address needs or concerns.”
“I plan to use my experience and knowledge to become acclimated with the processes for the Board of Ed,” Reed said, “and the current focuses they may have, such as facilities and reviewing school improvement plan outcomes.”