Board of Education filling vacant seats after resignations

By Kyle Kernan - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Jan. 5, 2012
Democratic Town Committee Chairman Leo Canty said disagreements on the Board of Education are ‘all part of the process.’ Photo by Kyle Kernan.
Democratic Town Committee Chairman Leo Canty said disagreements on the Board of Education are ‘all part of the process.’ Photo by Kyle Kernan.

Howard Jubrey (R) and longtime member and former board president Milo “Rusty” Peck (D) have resigned from the Windsor Board of Education after a month of disagreements, and some changes are taking place.

The shifts were caused by internal disagreements within the board. Jubrey, in an e-mail circulated after the November elections, argued that members of both parties were racially biased against Democratic board member Doreen E. Richardson, who received the third-highest number of votes during elections. Richardson is African-American, and Jubrey said he felt that the board needed a leader who could relate to a student community that is two-thirds minorities.

During November meetings, Jubrey and Richardson also made clear their displeasure with the leadership of Peck, who received the most votes during the November elections. Some say that these inner tensions among the BOE members subsequently led Peck to resign.

Jubrey made a statement saying he would resign because he brought up a matter outside of the Board of Education’s meetings.

At the board's Dec. 20 meeting, Republican Kristin Ingram, who served on the Windsor BOE last year, was sworn in to replace Jubrey.

“There were some disagreements within the board, but it’s all part of the process. When people don’t see progress, they get impatient,” said Democratic Town Committee Chairman Leo Canty.

Peck’s name has long been associated with the town of Windsor. Peck’s father was mayor of the town, and the learning center in Windsor is named after him. Canty said Peck’s efforts were important to the development of the Windsor school system.

Canty also said that Peck did not want to run in the most recent election, and was overwhelmed with work and personal issues. A family member has been sick and Peck recently had a hip replacement, Canty said. Now Peck wants to focus on family and his health.

The Nominating Committee for the Windsor Democratic Town Committee conducted a candidate interview on Dec. 21 for anyone interested in filling the position and decided to put the recommendation forward for Leonard Lockhart, 41, who resides on Columbia Road in Windsor.

“Lockhart has an impressive civic service resume in education,” said Richardson, who was ultimately named president of the Windsor BOE.

Lockhart’s nomination will be put to a vote by the Democratic Town Committee on Jan. 12. If accepted, he will go in front of the Windsor BOE on Jan. 24 for approval. The BOE does not have to accept Lockhart, even if the Democratic Town Committee accepts him; however the BOE has never turned down an approved candidate by a town committee, said Canty.

Lockhart’s involvement in the community includes serving as president for the Montessori Magnet School PTA in Hartford, and serving as a deacon and trustee at The Sanctuary of Faith and Glory Church in Windsor.

“We have been very fortunate to find someone who is interested in making the commitment to serve on the Windsor BOE. Leonard has been deeply involved in his community and he wants to make the system work. He understands the importance of policy and education,” said Canty.

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