BOE chair to resign, withdraws from race

Donna Cullen. -FILE PHOTO
Donna Cullen. -FILE PHOTO

PROSPECT — Region 16 Board of Education Chair Donna Cullen has submitted her resignation due to personal reasons.

Cullen’s last meeting on the school board, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, is Wednesday night. The board is expected to vote to accept her resignation at the meeting.

“It’s been a pleasure serving the students,” Cullen said.

Cullen, a Republican, was running for re-election to the board in November on the Republican ticket. She withdrew from the race last week.

Cullen, whose house has been up for sale, said she is close to selling her house, and expects the closing to happen sometime around the Nov. 3 election. She said she’s unsure whether she’ll still be living in Prospect after she sells her house, and didn’t want to commit to another term on the board, if re-elected, and not see it through.

Cullen, who is principal at Maloney Magnet Elementary School in Waterbury, was first appointed to the board to fill a vacancy and finish out a term in 2008. She was elected to the board in 2009 and re-elected in 2011 for a four-year term. She was named chair of the board in 2013.

Cullen said it’s been her pleasure serving on the board, adding that she has learned a lot during her time as a board member.

“I hope I have served the Region well over the years,” she said.

Republican Town Committee Chairman Tom Galvin said Roxann Vaillancourt has been endorsed to fill the vacancy on the ballot left by Cullen. Vaillancourt was elected to the school board in 2013 for a two-year term. She originally didn’t seek the committee’s endorsement for re-election.

The town committee will meet Tuesday night to choose someone to finish out Cullen’s current term, Galvin said. Region 16 board members begin their terms in December following an election.

The Town Council will have to approve whoever is chosen to finish the term. Galvin, who chairs the council, said the council is expected to vote on it at its Oct. 20 meeting.

Galvin said Cullen brought professional experience to the school board. He said Cullen represented the Region, Prospect and the Republican Town Committee well during her time on the board.

“It was with regret that we accepted her resignation and we wish her the best of luck in her endeavors,” Galvin said.