School Board To Choose Leader

BOE challenge slate
Dave Hennessey, left, with Andre Baker and Howard Gardner crushed the endorsed Dems in 2013.

Chaired by Mayor Bill Finch, the organizational meeting of the nine-member Board of Education will take place Monday 5:30 p.m. at the Aquaculture School with retired school teacher Dave Hennessey the leading candidate to replace Sauda Baraka as chair.

The Working Families Party coalition control of the school board that elevated Baraka as chair one year ago has evaporated in recent months including the resignation of John Bagley who was recently replaced by Kadisha Coates.

Hennessey had positioned for the lead role after his election last year with two other Democrats Howard Gardner and Andre Baker. The threesome defeated the endorsed candidates in a September 2013 primary. There is also sentiment for the one Republican on the board Joe Larcheveque, but time constraints for Larcheveque coupled with Hennessey’s desire for the position appears to make him the odds-on favorite for the chairmanship.

The board sets policy and crafts a budget for the school system in Connecticut’s most populous city.



  1. If Dishonest Dave Hennessey receives the votes to win the chairmanship, it is because he sold his soul to get the five votes. He could not get the five votes unless he voted for charter school parent and advocate Kadisha Coates. I know it, he knows it and just about every politically active person in Bridgeport knows it. Dishonest Dave’s word means absolutely nothing and he betrayed all of those who worked to elect him. There is a price that must come with betrayal.

    Sauda Baraka has been elected three times by the electorate and has nine years of experience on the BBOE. Dave Hennessey and Joe Larcheveque have one year and never attended BBOE meetings until they decided they wanted to run for the BBOE.

    If either Dave or Joe are elected chair on Monday, my absolute commitment is it will fuel many to make sure 12 months later they will lose their crown.

    Sincerely yours,

    Maria Piranha

    1. I agree with you, Maria. Hennessey has been a major disappointment. He’s clearly forgotten how he got elected in the first place. A wide coalition came together in support and he’s shown no loyalty or even gratitude. He doesn’t deserve to stay, much less chair the board.

  2. I have known David Hennessey for 43 years. There are many adjectives that fit this man: honest, hardworking, caring and dedicated are some examples. Sadly this blog is a place where small, uneducated and mean-spirited minds have a large audience. Too bad.

    1. Rick Torres, you need to answer the concerns when people challenge you on YOUR topic, “Torres: Ferguson Is Bridgeport, One Calamity Away From Societal Explosion” instead of running and hiding after you write something.

  3. Rick Torres, if one wants access to the postings of an individual who has a “small, uneducated and mean-spirited mind,” I recommend they read your repeated op-eds published on this blog and in the CT Post. They are highly offensive to many residents of Bridgeport. You do not believe in the minimum wage, you do not support public housing, you do not support rental assistance or food stamps for our most vulnerable residents and you apparently feel the need to repeatedly speak on behalf of the black community.

    I have met you in person and you have always been cordial and polite, however I don’t recall your working on Dave’s campaign, phone banking for him, knocking on doors for him, working the polls for him, etc. We worked hard for Dave based on his commitments around education, therefore he is absolutely dishonest and unethical. I have no comment on whether he is hardworking, caring or dedicated.

    I hope you work hard for Dishonest Dave in 2017, because he is going to need all the help he can get. The vast majority of us who worked for him in 2014 will be absolutely working to defeat him should he seek re-election in 2017.

  4. This blog is a place where opinions are encouraged and even sought after. That is a very good thing. I would venture to guess many a new idea that has been put to task grew from a seed planted on this blog. This is a free resource for those who govern and they would be crazy not to read it. That said, the name-calling that frequently finds its way onto this venue could really serve to tarnish what are otherwise creative, intelligent and productive exchanges of ideas. QUIT IT. Happy Holidays to you all and your families.

  5. By the way, the only BBOE member who attended the DEEP Public Forum on building a new Harding High School on the largest brownfield in CT which could potentially impact the health of thousands of children and teachers/staff, was Sauda Baraka.

    The five members of the BBOE who voted for this travesty, which includes Andre Baker, Kenneth Moales, Hernan Illingworth, Joe Larcheveque and Jacqueline Kelleher, didn’t even have the decency to attend. And Dishonest Dave didn’t make it either. How is that for someone who thinks he should be the BBOE chair?

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