New Board of Ed Members Sworn in; New Chair, Vice Chair Elected

At Wednesday’s Board of Educaton meeting at Central Middle School new board members Cody Kittle (R), Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony (R), and Laura Kostin (D) were sworn in by longtime Greenwich Town Clerk Carmella Budkins for whom it was her last swearing in ceremony.

New members of the Board of Education were sworn in on Nov 17, 2021, Cody Kittle, Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony and Laura Kostin. Photo: Leslie Yager

After the swearing in, officers were nominated and votes were cast.

Democrat Christina Downey nominated Democrat Kathleen Stowe.

Ms Downey noted Ms Stowe was starting her second four-year term and had served as vice chair for the past two years. She also serving on the policy governance and budget committees, which she has chaired at various times. Downey noted that Ms Stowe also chaired the superintendent search that led to the hiring of Dr. Toni Jones. She said that as an added bonus, Ms Stowe has children at all three levels of public school – elementary, middle and high school.

After Ms Downey’s nomination of Ms Stowe, Republican Joe Kelly nominated himself.

“I’d like to nominate myself. I’ve not prepared a speech, but I’m a really nice guy,” he said.

BOE members turned in their paper ballots during votes for chair, vice chair and secretary. Nov 17, 2021 Photo: Leslie Yager

After each member completed a paper ballot, the results were:

Five members voted for Democrat Ms Stowe, including Ms Stowe, Republican Karen Kowalski, Democrat Laura Kostin, and Democrat Christina Downey, and Democrat Karen Hirsh.

Joe Kelly voted for Joe Kelly, along with fellow Republicans Cody Kittle and Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony.

Total votes for chair were 5 for Ms Stowe and 3 for Mr. Kelly.

For vice chair, Republican Karen Kowalski nominated herself.

“I think my experience on the board for the past two years alongside yourself and the others – we can put forward a collaborative and challenging effort to create a focused and dedicated board to the 8,400 students that we serve,” Kowalski said.

Voting for Ms Kowalski were herself, Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony, Cody Kittle, Kathleen Stowe, Christina Downey and Laura Kostin.

Mr. Kelly abstained.

Total votes for vice chair Karen Kowalski were 7-0-1.

The last vote was for secretary and Ms Hirsh was nominated by Ms Downey.

The vote was unanimous for Ms Hirsh for another term as secretary.

Congratulations everyone!