Naugatuck BOE selects education veteran for vacant seat

Kimberly Gallo is sworn in to the vacant Board of Education seat by borough attorney Ned Fitzpatrick at school board building on Oct. 13. Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — The school board has selected a new member to fill the vacant seat.

The Board of Education unanimously chose borough native Kimberly Gallo as a member of the board effective from Oct. 13 to Nov. 2, 2023. Gallo was sworn in by borough attorney Ned Fitzpatrick shortly after the board’s decision.

Former Naugatuck Board of Education member Aaron McCool stepped down in July due to revelations of him sharing inappropriate photos of young girls about eight years ago surfaced online.

McCool, a Republican, initially refused to step down, saying he has changed after he admitted he re-posted the improper photos. The school board unanimously approved to accept McCool’s letter of resignation at a special meeting shortly after.

Board of Education Chairman Jeffrey Litke welcomed Gallo as she began serving in her first meeting and wished her all the best.

Gallo, 64, Democrat, said her husband, three children, her parents and she all graduated from Naugatuck High School and attended borough schools. Gallo attended Southern Connecticut State University for her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in school counseling before she received her sixth-year certificate in education administration from Sacred Heart University.

Jeffrey Litke. Archive

“I’ve spent 40 years in public schools, 22 of them in Naugatuck. I’d like to say that the most important things I learned about in education, I learned in the Naugatuck public schools,” Gallo said during the meeting. “I felt that 40 years was a good run so I retired with the class of 2021, so even though I’m not interested in being principal any longer, mostly because I’m tired, I have a passion for education that doesn’t want to leave me, so this is an awesome opportunity.”

Gallo subsequently said she was very pleased when she found out that she would be selected to be on the school board.

“I’ve never heard of the situation where 16 people applied,” Gallo said. “I wondered if I was able to rise above so many people,”

Gallo said she really looks forward to serving in this manner as education is a lifelong passion of hers.

“This gives me a chance to serve in the field of education without the huge responsibilities that are entailed when you work in the system,” Gallo said.

Gallo said during the meeting that she was aware that there were many other good people that wanted to do this work.

“I will do my work in a way that honors that and that honors the school system that raised me,” Gallo said at the meeting.

Out of the 16 applicants, three applicants withdrew before the interviewing process began.

There was an initial round of interviews for all applicants and then the school board brought back three for a second round of interviews. All the board members were involved in the process, Litke said.

“There are very few things that are more important to me than educating children,” Gallo said. “My goals will be to further their core values.”