Shelton BOE fills vacancy with former Stratford official

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Jim Feehan

Jim Feehan

Contributed photo

SHELTON — The Board of Education enters budget season with a new member as Republican members appointed Jim Feehan to fill the void left by Joseph Pagliaro, Jr., who resigned for health reasons.

Feehan, who formerly chaired both the Stratford City Council and Stratford Board of Education, was elected to the vacant post, under charter rules, by Republican board members Kathy Yolish, James Orazietti, Carl Rizzo and Amy Romano. The four cast their ballots for Feehan Monday at City Hall. 

“He brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to our board,” said Yolish, the board’s chair. 

Yolish praised Feehan for his community service history while in Stratford, adding that he has been an active member of the Shelton Republican Town Committee since moving to the city several years ago. 

“With his experience both in business and as a BOE member in Stratford, he will be an immediate asset,” said Orazietti. “I look forward to working with Jim on the challenges we will be facing.” 

Feehan, who retired from the Stamford Fire Department after 28 years, is president of New England Fire Equipment and Apparatus. 

“It is unfortunate that the position had to open up,” Feehan said. “Joe’s a fantastic person, and I wish him well. I will do my best to hit the ground running, support my fellow board members and help to give the students of Shelton the best education we can.” 

Feehan said his first job will be joining his fellow board members on creating the 2023-24 education budget. Feehan said he believes his experience with the Stratford Board of Education gives him an advantage in the budget process. 

Feehan, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully in 2021 for a Board of Education seat, replaces Pagliaro, who stepped down Jan. 1 citing health reasons. 

In the resignation letter dated Dec. 13, Pagliaro wrote he was stepping aside due to “health reasons." He added it "was my pleasure serving the children of Shelton.”  

“It is with great sadness I accept the resignation of Joseph Pagliaro,” Yolish said during the December Board of Education meeting. “You will be sadly missed. We wish you joy in the future.”

Correction: This story has been updated to remove the incorrect statement that all Republican Board of Education candidates received more votes than their Democratic opponents in the 2021 municipal election.