The Board of Education held its first meeting following Election Day on Tuesday, and the first thing to be done was choosing a new chairperson. Michael Harman had been the chairman, however he was not endorsed for re-election by the Republican caucus and chose not to run. The board elected Tara Ochman as the new Chairman. Betsy Hagerty-Ross will remain the Vice Chairman, and Katherine Stein will remain secretary.

As the senior member of the board, Hagerty-Ross called an organizational meeting to order. First, she welcomed new member Dennis Maroney, and congratulated Duke Dineen, Michael Burke, and Debra Ritchie on their election back onto the board. Maroney previously was the chair of the RTM Education Committee. Ritchie joined the board following the resignation of Sarah Zuro.

Hagerty-Ross explained that the board had consulted with legal counsel to be sure the process of choosing new officers was followed correctly, and that the board would offer nominations for each position, and then vote on those nominations. Dineen nominated Ochman for the Chairperson position, Burke nominated Hagerty-Ross for Vice Chairperson, and Ritchie nominated Katherine Stein for Secretary.

Ochman received yes votes from all members except Christa McNamara who voted no, and Jill McCammon and Maroney, both of whom abstained. Hagerty-Ross got yes votes from all except for a no from Dennis Maroney, with McCammon and McNamara abstaining. Stein was voted yes by all board members except Maroney, who voted no.

Ochman was originally elected to the Board of Education in 2016, and has children in the Darien school system. In 2016 Ochman said, “as we move forward fiscal management, a commitment to educational excellence for our children, and a strong understanding of the budget is key.” Hagerty-Ross is the most senior member of the board, and has served as Vice-Chairperson for the last several years, as well as as Chairperson before that.