Board of Ed Unanimously Elects Katrina Parkhill as Chair, Phil Hogan as Vice Chair


The Board of Education on Monday night elected Katrina Parkhill as chair.

Board of Education Chair Katrina Parkhill. Contributed

A Republican member of the Board since 2017 who served as chair through the COVID-19 pandemic—from late-2019 through last November—Parkhill was unanimously elected during a brief organizational meeting at the start of the BOE’s regular meeting.

In nominating Parkhill, Board member Hugo Alves said, “I’d like to nominate Katrina to be chair of the board if she’d do it again.”

“Obviously it’s been an interesting time and an unfortunate one considering the circumstances, but Katrina has at least proven to me and the rest of us in town that she not only cares about the town, cares about the school system, she’s got the experience to lead and I think that whatever transition we experience over the course of the rest of the year, it would be helpful and important to have some continuity and that level of experience,” Alves said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School.

Board members Bob Naughton, Brendan Hayes, Parkhill, Erica Schwedel, Alves, Phil Hogan and Penny Rashin voted 7-0 in favor of Parkhill. Board member Julie Toal was absent. The Board has one open seat that had been held by former Chair Dan Bennett, who resigned two weeks ago following a drunk-driving arrest.

Board members have praised Parkhill in the past for showing extraordinary leadership during an especially difficult stretch for the district, including through the pandemic, and have described her as a student-first-focused collaborator on the school board. Parkhill won a seat during the general election in 2017 and then, after falling short at the Republican caucus in 2021, was elected during a special Board of Ed meeting that fall to fill a two-year term following the resignation of Carl Gardiner, who moved out-of-state.

Board of Ed Vice Chair Phil Hogan. Contributed

During the same organizational meeting Monday, overseen by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi, Parkhill nominated Hogan to serve as vice chair, saying, “Phll is a member of the communications committee and he has been a member and served faithfully on two of our hiring committees for the district, in partnership with the administration. He attended the [final] budget meeting and followed the process closely throughout all of the meetings with the town bodies. He was there faithfully, many late-night meetings. And I think he has taken a thoughtful approach to questions and ideas to bring forward to the Board and the administration. And I think he worked well with all of the board members.”

Hogan also was unanimously elected. He succeeds Parkhill in the role of vice chair.

Board members said at the time of Bennett’s resignation that they’ll fill the vacant seat within 90 days. That seat will be up for a two-year term in this year’s municipal election, along with four four-year seats (those currently held by Parkhill, Hayes, Naughton and Alves).

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