MILFORD — On a recent Thursday morning, well before her regular, daily routine got under way, Seymour native and Deputy First Selectman Nicole Klarides-Ditria needed to get her smartphone repaired. That was an absolute necessity, considering her busy schedule.
Shortly thereafter, Klarides-Ditria arrived at the Lauralton Hall Athletic Center to tackle one of her many part-time jobs as the athletic trainer for the all-girls’ Roman Catholic high school, a role she’s held for the past 15 years.
Now, the 48-year-old Republican is about to embark on an even more challenging position, after defeating incumbent Democrat Theresa Conroy in a highly contested state representative race for the 105th District, serving the towns of Seymour, Beacon Falls and part of Derby. Klarides recorded 6.341 votes (57.2 percent) to Conroy’s 4,742 votes (42.8 percent).
The day after the election, the Lauralton Hall athletes had a surprise gift waiting for Klarides-Ditria in the athletic center — balloons and flowers — to celebrate her victory. The inquisitive teenagers also wondered out loud if Klarides-Ditria would continue at the school.
“I’m not leaving here,” vowed Klarides-Ditria, who also serves as the game-day trainer for the Seymour football program and she said that will continue in the fall of 2017.
The fall season doesn’t interfere with the House of Representative sessions, which run generally from January through the end of the spring.
Maintaining a well-balanced and structured lifestyle will remain for Klarides-Ditria, a former swimming sprinter and tennis player. A 1986 Seymour High graduate, she was a scholarship tennis player at Quinnipiac University, where she earned her marketing degree.
Klarides-Ditria’s athletic prowess and expertise will come in handy now that her life has taken a drastic turn when she heads to the Capitol in Hartford in January to be officially sworn in. She will join her sister, Themis Klarides, the current Republican Minority leader in the Connecticut State House of Representatives, where she has served the 114th District of Woodbridge, Orange and Derby, since 1998.
“When I was a college athlete, it was all about time-management, adjusting to classes and demanding practice schedules and travel,” Nicole Klarides-Ditria said. “I just have a passion and love everything that I do. Because of that, I find the time.”
Now, the wife, mother, athletic trainer, ex-chairperson for the Seymour High Turf Committee, a business manager for her family properties and town finance board member and deputy first selectman is tackling an even larger role. Despite it all, Klarides-Ditria doesn’t plan on changing her lifestyle much.
“I still plan on having date night on Saturdays with my husband (Steve, a Seymour police detective) and having dinner with our son, Cade, during weeknights and attending his football games and track meets,” Klarides-Ditria said. “I don’t consider, ‘Oh my God, I do too much.’ This is my life and I will make it work.”
Influenced greatly by Themis, who had tried for years to convince her sister to run for state office, Klarides-Ditria decided that now was the time with all of the state budget woes.
“Themis’ best qualities is her compassion, being driven and being passionate for what she believes in,” Klarides-Ditria said.
What are Klarides-Ditria’s best qualities?
“Honesty, passion and always doing what’s best for myself, my family, my athletes and now my constituents,” she said.
Being so involved in so many arenas, Klarides-Ditria is still realistic about her on-the-job training.
“It’s a calculated risk, taking it all in, and I have to learn day-by-day,” Klarides-Ditria said. “I need to be calculated, steadfast and help move the state forward. It’s going to take a lot of work. I went into this election knowing that if I didn’t win, I would have done everything that I could and had given it a 110 percent effort and would go down fighting. I wouldn’t have one single regret.”