Shelton Board of Education candidate: Joseph A. Pagliaro, Jr.

Joseph Pagliaro, Jr.

Joseph Pagliaro, Jr.

Contributed photo

Party: Republican

Incumbent?: No

Current Job: Funeral Home Director at Riverview Funeral Home, Shelton, and Adzima Funeral Home, Derby

Volunteering: Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley; Center Stage Theater, Shelton; Recreation Camp, Derby; Valley United Way; Valley Community Foundation; St. Catherine Academy, Fairfield (special needs children school); St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church, Shelton

Education: New England Institute of Embalming, Mass.; Sacred Heart University, Fairfield (B.S., Political Science)

Previous Offices Held: Board of Education (eight years), Chairperson (four years)

If elected, what will be your primary focus — budget, curriculum, another topic?

I would focus on the budget to ensure as many possible courses were provided for all students, especially the gifted and special needs students.

What is your stance on the city-run bus company? A positive or negative for the school district, and what would your stance be when time to go back to bid/negotiate with the city?

Shelton Student Transportation Service has provided a windfall to our school budget. As a former BoE Chairperson, I am very much aware that transport companies we have contracted with in the past put us at a disadvantage with regard to our ability to change routes, and their cost were always much more than what the BoE contracted for.

SSTS records document that during the past year and during the pandemic, out of the 6,413 runs scheduled, only 26 were missed; namely, SSTS completed 99.6 percent of the BoE scheduled bus runs. Even more impressive is that there were no runs missed during the months of May and June. Our city has proven once again that in-house services are very cost effective and allow us to retain control of the costs and expenses.

Your thoughts on the school budget — how it stands now for what is needed in the schools? How would you help to continue better relations between the BOE/Mayor/Aldermen?

The school budget is very much dependent on student needs - especially those of our special and gifted students. The school budget has and always will be a function of the programs that are necessary to provide a quality education and meet all standards. I would study academic requirements and issues to determine how each affect budget requests from the Superintendent and department heads.

I am very familiar with the budget process and have reviewed the BoE budget and the joint BoE/A&T/BoA/Mayor budget review. The spirit and actual cooperation between former School Finance Director, Rick Belden, and the present BoA and Shelton public school system administration was the best it has been in many years. I commend all of them, and if elected, I will make it a priority to continue the cooperation and information sharing that was so successful. As updated technology and classroom supplies are needed for all grades, I would work with the Superintendent to acquire necessary items. I would, as well, tour the schools to verify they are being maintained, safe and meet sanitary requirements in the COVID-19 world we live in.