New Canaan resident Pat O’Connell is seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party for the two-year term on an open Board of Education seat at the July 20 caucus. We put some questions to O’Connell about his candidacy. Our exchange follows.
New Canaanite: Tell us about yourself—how long have you lived in New Canaan, what have you been involved with here in town and what led to your decision to seek re-election?
Pat O’Connell: I am a product of the New Canaan Public School system having attended South, Saxe and then graduated from New Canaan High school. I am one of six children, all of whom are NCHS graduates. After leaving town for college and to start my career, my wife Robin and I chose to move back to New Canaan in 2002 to raise our family. We were attracted to New Canaan due to the wonderful community and strong public school system. Robin and I have four children—Ryan, Quintin, Courtney, Katherine—all of whom went to South, Saxe, and three have graduated from NCHS so far. I have three sisters who also still live in New Canaan, one of whom is a teacher, and in addition to my daughter at NCHS next year, have six other nieces and nephews who are still part of the New Canaan public school system.
What have been your biggest contributions to the elected body for which you are seeking GOP endorsement at the July 20 caucus?
I was fortunate to be able to fill a recent vacancy on the BOE due to a former member moving out of town. Throughout my years living in New Canaan, in addition to being involved in many school activities, I have been active in numerous town organizations including New Canaan Athletic Foundation, New Canaan Youth Lacrosse, New Canaan Youth Football, New Canaan Winter Club, and St. Aloysius Church. I also believe that my experiences throughout my professional career—currently, institutional equity sales at MoffettNathanson—have equipped me to work effectively with various people representing different interests.
What is your vision for the elected body for which you are seeking re-election?
I think that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luzzi and the BOE did a fantastic job at navigating the many challenges that came about as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The success that he and his team had at keeping schools safe and open was a phenomenal accomplishment. I hope to help build upon these successes and to assist in improving our schools on all levels. I believe that our schools are a vital part of what makes New Canaan such a tremendous community and think that my experience and interest have prepared me to contribute to the BOE in a meaningful way.
[Editor’s Note: Through July 9, NewCanaanite.com is publishing Q&As with local Republicans seeking party endorsement for elected offices in contested races at the July 20 GOP caucus. We will publish letters of endorsement for the Republican caucus and Democratic endorsement meeting through July 9. Comments are disabled on this post.]