Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 01 April 2011 00:00
It was after midnight before the Garden City Board of Education officially swore in Tom Pinou as the new interim board of education trustee. Due to health concerns, Laura Brown vacated the trustee seat this past February. Pinou, the outgoing president of the Western Property Owners’ Association, was chosen by the board among many other qualified candidates, and will sit on the dais at the next board meeting on April 6.
School Board President Colleen Foley thanked Pinou for participating in the process and said she looks forward to working with him in the future. “The community should know that much to our excitement, we received multiple résumés. The board interviewed over a couple of nights; it was a very difficult decision. Everyone who stepped forward had unique and wonderful qualifications,” she said.
Foley said she could see the board reaching to those qualifications in the future even if for the people who were not selected for a trustee position at the moment. “To their credit, they all agreed to help us going forward. I think that speaks volumes for people stepping up and volunteering because this is a tough job, and I want to thank them all for doing that,” Foley said.
School Board Vice President Barbara Trapasso said it was an honor meeting all the candidates who interviewed for the open trustee position. “Every candidate had excellent qualities and it made our job very difficult. I’d like to thank you for putting your résumé in and stepping forward to volunteer,” Trapasso said.
Trustee Angela Heineman echoed the sentiment, stating that she appreciated all the insights the candidates shared and was looking forward to working with Pinou. “I think we learned a good deal about the community’s perception of the board and its responsibility. And I do wish to commend them for their honesty and their insight and I thank them all,” she said.
Laura Hastings also thanked the talented candidates who took time out of their lives to interview with the board. “I hope you stay involved and keep giving us your feedback and your input,” Hastings said.
In a more comical moment of the meeting, Superintendent Feirsen welcomed Pinou and invited on the dais at the end of the meeting. “Take a seat… and kiss your social life goodbye,” Feirsen said.
Village Trustee Laurence Quinn attended the meeting and briefly offered comments on the board’s appointment of Pinou. “Having been up there, you made a great choice…you have a great man in Tom Pinou,” Quinn said.
Resident Bob Bolebruch commented that he was also happy about the decision. “I just wanted to commend the board as an ex-president of the WPOA, Tom Pinou is one of the most quality individuals that I know. He’s an absolute class individual, he’s open minded, hardworking, a good family guy…you could not have made a better choice,” Bolebruch said.
In an interview with Garden City Life, Pinou expressed thanks to Walter McKenna, president of the Eastern Property Owners’ Association for allowing him to serve as the interim trustee and as liaison to the EPOA. “I look forward to the opportunity to represent the residents, work with the school administration and provide a positive contribution to the school board,” he said. Pinou indicated that he may consider running for the position in the May election if it is the desire of the board.
Pinou lives with his wife, Irene, and two children in Garden City. Completing his term as WPOA president, Pinou has volunteered for more than 10 years in the Garden City community and is currently serving on the school bond’s Ad Hoc Committee. He brings with him a diverse engineering background working in both public and private sectors.