Kristin Campanelli proved to be a go-getter this campaign season. She made the rounds in Berlin and knocked on doors and shook hands in an effort to meet every possible resident in town in her effort to keep her seat on the Berlin Board of Education.
Her efforts proved to be worth it as she was the top vote-winner in the Berlin Board of Education contest with 5,730 votes.
Next in line was Gary Brochu with 4,469 followed by Jeff Cugno with 4,405. Those three candidates, all incumbents, will earn the three-year terms on the BOE.
Former Berlin High School Principal George Synnott came in fourth with 4,069. He will serve out the remainder of a two-year term.
The rest of the vote totals went like this: Cynthia Kobus had 3,695, Charles Paonessa finished with 2,303 and Thomas Niemiec had 2,028.
Kobus was an incumbent but failed to gain another term on the BOE. Paonessa and Niemiec were new candidates for the BOE.
"I met a lot of voters and listened to their concerns," Campanelli said. "You don't go in saying you want to get the most votes. It's more like 'Don't lose' than anything else. I would have been happy to finish anywhere in the top four. It's tough talking to people because you're never really sure if they like what you have to say but it's a good feeling that validates all my hard work."
Cugno, who filled a vacancy and has served a short time, is excited to be elected for the first time.
"I'm very pleased that the voters picked me to go back to the Board of Education," Cugno said. "I have enjoyed my short time on the Board and I'm excited to go back for a full term. I'm flattered."
Brochu will begin his sixth term and 16th year when he goes back to the BOE.
"Election Day is funny because you just never know," Brochu said. "I was at Hubbard for 11 or 12 hours and you have people who come over and shake your hand and others who avoid even looking at you. It's gratifying at this point to have been on the Board as long as any member but it's also tough because we have a lot on our plate still to do for this school district."
The newcomer to the Board of Education, George Synnott, was Principal at Berlin High School for more than 20 years.
"I still have fire in my belly to do what I can to help the students and the teachers in any way I can," Synnott said. "I am very concerned about the educational reform act and how it will affect the kids and teachers in this period of change. I thank my wife and family for allowing me to continue on this journey. I am thankful to the residents and non-residents who have helped support my candidacy."