New Canaan’s Pat O’Connell Joins Board of Education Following Unanimous Vote


The Board of Education on Wednesday night voted unanimously to approve a longtime resident and 1988 New Canaan High School graduate to fill an open seat on the elected body.

Pat O’Connell in attendance at the June 23, 2021 Board of Education meeting. NCPS YouTube screenshot

Pat O’Connell will join the Board following a 5-0 vote at a special meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. 

The Republican will fill the unexpired term of Julie Mackle Reeves, who resigned this month due to a move out-of-state. The term expires in November 2023.

“As a longtime member of our community and an active volunteer over the years, Pat brings a wealth of knowledge and will be an advocate for our schools and our students,” Board Chair Katrina Parkhill said. “His professional experience and financial background will add to the breadth of skills and experience on our Board.”

Parkhill, Secretary Jennifer Richardson and Penny Rashin, Dionna Carlson and Sheri West voted in favor of O’Connell joining the Board.

The meeting lasted about six minutes.

O’Connell and his five siblings grew up in town and attended New Canaan Public Schools, Parkhill said. After high school, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. O’Connell moved back to New Canaan in 2002 with his wife, Robin, and their four kids, three of whom have graduated from NCHS and one of whom is a rising junior. He works as a partner in institutional equity sales at Manhattan-based MoffettNathanson, and his past empowers include AllianceBernstein, VerticalNet, Goldman Sachs and NBC, Parkhill said. 

He “has been active as an volunteer in numerous town organizations” such as the New Canaan Athletic Foundation, youth lacrosse, youth football, New Canaan Winter Club, St. Aloysius Church and within the public schools, she said.

The school board during its regular meeting Monday had voted unanimously to elect Richardson as secretary, succeeding Mackle Reeves in the role. Richardson has served as secretary in the past.

Parkhill said of Mackle Reeves at that meeting, “I would like to thank Julie for her contributions and efforts while serving on our Board. Julie was a valued and spirited member of this Board, and we are very grateful to her for her work in support of our schools and our community.”

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