After eight successful years, Rosa Richardson (Vice-Chairman), James Morrissey, Sr., and Rosie Russo have concluded their tenures as board members for the West Haven Board of Education. Their final board meeting was Nov. 15 in the West Haven High School cafeteria.
“I want to thank Rose, Rosa, and Jim for their many years of service as Board of Education members and for their commitment to the students of West Haven,” said Superintendent Neil Cavallaro. “It was an honor and privilege working with them and getting to know each of them. I have no doubt that they will continue to serve this community and find new ways to lend their experience and knowledge to a city that needs more people like them to be involved.”
Rosa Richardson, who was born in East Haven, moved to West Haven in sixth grade. She attended Carrigan Intermediate School and graduated from West Haven High School in 1979. She became actively involved with the West Haven youth through her church’s youth programs as well as through sports, in which she began coaching the city’s youth at the age of 17 as a volunteer coach for the West Haven Little League.
Richardson started advocating for students when she was in college and her brother was in sixth grade at Carrigan. When she was no longer able to coach because of a knee replacement, she was asked to run for the Board of Education since she had committed the majority of her life to the youth in the West Haven community. According to Richardson, it was a perfect fit for her.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to represent our students, teachers, administrators, and residents on the Board,” said Richardson. “I am deeply proud of the new, state-of-the-art High School, and I am especially proud of the fact that I have represented this City and the Board of Education with professionalism, honesty, commitment, and dedication to our students. I will truly miss serving my community on the Board of Education but I will always Bleed Blue, I am a Westie through and through!”
After being a teacher her whole life, Rosie Russo decided to join the board eight years ago because she wanted to be on the other side to help build a stronger connection between teachers and students. It was important to her that teachers felt they had a voice and were heard, and she wanted to do whatever she could to help them.
Russo, who was a special education teacher in New Haven, lived in West Haven for 31 years and her children attended Notre Dame High School. She is very proud of everything the board accomplished during her time, including a brand-new High School, a full-day kindergarten schedule, new Bailey scheduling, and much more.
Jim Morrissey was born and raised in West Haven and graduated from West Haven High School in 1975. He has been involved with the West Haven community his entire life, and his three children went to West Haven schools. He credits their success to the school system.
Morrissey is exceptionally proud of how the board worked to navigate the pandemic – he visited every school to talk to students and staff about their needs, and the board was able to get everything that each school needed to create a safe environment. Morrissey wishes the new board well and has reiterated that he’s not going anywhere, and that he is always happy to help.