Board of Education Chair Dan Bennett resigned Wednesday afternoon, according to a letter signed by the other eight members of the elected body.
Issued along with a notice that a special meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday had been canceled, the letter is addressed to the community, as follows:
“Dear New Canaan Community,
“This afternoon the Board of Education accepted a letter from Dan Bennett resigning from his role as Chair of the New Canaan Board of Education and from his elected position as a member of the New Canaan Board of Education, effective immediately.
“We would like to thank Dan for his commitment and service to our town, our board and our schools. We wish Dan and his family our very best.
“As per our Board of Education bylaws, the Board will elect a new Chair to fill the unexpired term within our next two regularly scheduled meetings.
“Additionally, the Board vacancy will be filled by a vote of the remaining members of the Board within the next 90 days. The newly appointed member will serve until the next biennial municipal election in November 2023; at that election, a successor shall be elected for the unexpired portion of the term (2 years).
“We thank you for your trust and support as we continue to work together on behalf of the students, staff, and community we proudly serve.”
It is signed by Board of Ed Vice Chair Katrina Parkhill, Secretary Erica Schwedel, and members Hugo Alves, Brendan Hayes, Phil Hogan, Bob Naughton, Penny Rashin and Julie Toal.
The letter comes two days after Bennett said during a regular meeting that he intended to step away from the Board temporarily to address a personal situation with his family. Bennett had been arrested the prior week and charged with driving under the influence. During a public comments session at Monday’s meeting, three people called for Bennett to resign, saying it was best for the Board, New Canaan Public Schools and wider community.
Bennett was elected to the school board in 2021 and became chair last November.
Thank you Dan for all you have done!