Government Schools

West Hartford Board of Education Announces Appointment to Fill Vacancy

LaToya Fernandez, Courtesy photo

The West Hartford Board of Education announced Thursday that LaToya Fernandez will be appointed next week to fill the vacancy resulting from Jason Chang’s resignation.

By Ronni Newton 

The West Hartford Board of Education will hold its first meeting of the 2023-2024 academic year on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and has announced that LaToya Fernandez will be sworn in at that meeting to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jason Chang on June 7, 2023.

Fernandez was unanimously selected by the Board’s Democratic caucus, Chairperson Lorna Thomas-Farquharson said.

“A key pillar defining West Hartford is our commitment to provide high quality education for all of our youth,” Thomas-Farquharson said in a statement. “We appreciate those individuals who stepped up volunteering to share their time and talents through servant leadership by serving on the Board of Education.”

Thomas-Farquharson noted that Fernandez is a “mother, educator, and activist,” with years of experience as a community leader and organizer serving an empowering youth –past and present professional experiences that will be an asset to the Board.

An announcement of Fernandez’s appointment notes the following: “As an award-winning author and educator LaToya innovated effective strategies to close the opportunity gap for students while empowering fellow teachers and community members to embrace Diversity and Inclusion. Upon her return home to Connecticut, LaToya became the restorative justice coordinator within the juvenile justice system serving 11 facilities including detention programs, step down programs and DCF group homes. During this role she facilitated training for staff and youth with a focus on creating a restorative culture that supported successful re-entry. LaToya led system-impacted youth at the statewide juvenile justice oversight policy committee to support the reform policies and mitigate the school to prison pipeline. LaToya is the first Chief Diversity Equity Inclusion Officer for the City of Norwalk, CT and is a proud parent and resident of West Hartford.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to step up for the West Hartford community,” Fernandez said in a statement. “I look forward to being an inclusive thought partner and advocate for youth, families and teachers.”

Her appointment will be valid through November 2023, and Fernandez will also be running for a four-year term on the Board of Education in the upcoming municipal election.

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