School board turns to Grant to fill vacancy

Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren ‘Pete’ Hess, left, swears in Ethel Grant Aug. 11 to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education. –CONTRIBUTED

Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren ‘Pete’ Hess, left, swears in Ethel Grant Aug. 11 to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — A familiar face is back on the Naugatuck Board of Education.

The board last week appointed Democrat Ethel Grant to fill the vacant seat left by Jill Mahoney, a Democrat who resigned in July. Mahoney stepped down because of her new position as the school readiness liaison between Naugatuck’s preschool program and the state.

“It’s nice being back with the folks I know. I am not so much a stranger as the first time I did this, so I have a little better idea of what I should be doing and listening for,” Grant said.

Grant served on the board from 2013 through 2015. She ran for re-election in 2015 but lost her seat in the election.

Board of Education Chairman Dorothy Neth-Kunin said the board is pleased to welcome Grant back.

“She has experience on the board. She’s familiar with the board policy and practices, so she really understands how the board works. It’s great to have her back. She’s excited to be back,” Neth-Kunin said.

Grant’s presence on the board also adds diversity, as she is the only black member.

“I think it is nice to have diversity on the board. I just think it is a good thing,” Grant said.

Grant, a retired teacher, said she wants to help the board continue to move forward in a positive direction.

“I just want to keep the progress going. Before I left we had the new math program put in and they said it is making progress. I have seen some reports that we are doing better. I just want to see our kids do even better. I want them at the state level. So I am just here to help it along,” Grant said.

While she is pleased to be back on the board now, she doesn’t have any set plans for the future.

“I am just taking it year by year. I am not promising I will run in the next election. I will see how it goes,” Grant said.