Likly steps down, Finkelstein named new education board chair

Bruce Likly stepped down from his role as chair at the end of the Board of Education’s Sept. 28 meeting, and the board voted to have Christine Finkelstein succeed him.

“Acting as your chair for the past six years has been one of the highest honors of my life. There’s no question about it,” Likly told his fellow board members, citing business and personal reasons for his stepping down.

“As many of you know, over the past six months, my business life has gotten incredibly busy,” he said.

“I now have a child that I’m chasing all over the country for field hockey, and I don’t feel I have the time to put into the chairmanship role that I believe it deserves.”

Likly said he feels “very strongly” about the work the board has done, its collaboration and “making sure that everyone at the table has a voice at all times.”

“I’ve loved working with each and every one of you,” he told the board.

Superintendent Kevin Smith told The Bulletin he has “really enjoyed working with Bruce in his capacity as chair” and has “profound respect for the leadership he has provided to the board and district over the last six years.”

New slate

Being named chair, Finkelstein vacated the vice-chair position, which the board voted to fill with Laura Schwemm.

Schwemm’s new position left the secretary position open, which the board voted to fill with Lory Rothstein.

Finkelstein thanked the board for the “tremendous honor” of being named chair.

“Looking back, Lory, Laura and I all joined the board at the same time six years ago — now we’re running the joint,” Finkelstein said with a laugh.

Finkelstein thanked Likly for his service and said it’s been “an honor and a pleasure” to serve as his vice chair the past few years.

“One of the first things you learn when you go through Board of Education orientation is that when you get a chairman, you keep that person for as long as you possibly can, and we were blessed to keep you for six years,” she said.

“You truly, truly have a passion for this and it’s no exaggeration — you truly are a Wilton Warrior. I know how difficult it’s been with you the last few months — spread very thin — but you did give us 110%, so thank you and we will carry on.”

Smith said he is “very pleased” that the board elected Finkelstein as the new chair.

“l forward to continuing our strong partnership,” he said.

“I know that Christine, Laura Schwemm, and Lory Rothstein will be very effective leaders and strong advocates for the children of Wilton and our schools.”

Likly will continue to serve as a board member until November.

The Board of Education’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., in Miller-Driscoll School’s multi-purpose room.