BOE’s ‘good news’ about scholarship

NAUGATUCK — The “good news” Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Tindall-Gibson had promised to deliver Thursday was not about the Board of Education’s more-than-$2 million budget shortfall but rather about a new scholarship fund at the high school.

According to a written board statement, Naugatuck High School will receive in trust approximately $80,000 from the estate of June Alice Kinch, who died June 3, 2008. The sum will be used to establish a $2,500 annual scholarship to one graduating senior.

The scholarship fund was threatened when the estate’s fiduciary filed an application in Bristol Probate Court to have Kinch’s roughly $500,000 estate deemed insolvent. Board Chairwoman Kathleen Donovan, an attorney, and its legal counsel, Roseann Padula, investigated Kinch’s assets and argued successfully at a Dec. 5 hearing that her estate was not insolvent, thereby preserving the scholarship fund.

The board statement notes Donovan and Padula performed their legal services pro bono; the BOE’s code of ethics prohibits members from benefitting financially from their positions on the board.