Orange selectmen name new Amity BOE member

ORANGE >> The Board of Selectmen has chosen a seasoned Milford education official to serve on the Amity Regional Board of Education to replace Tracey Russo.

Russo resigned recently over a new policy that potentially allows for a “verbal warning” as a response if a student commits sexual assault.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli, calling Russo an “outstanding” board member, nominated Orange resident Shannon Perry Carlson to serve. She received unanimous support from selectmen.

According to town rules, when someone is replaced, the new person fills the term until the next biennial election — which would be in November — and then if interested, must run to fill the two final years of the term.

Zeoli said Carlson said she would be willing to run for the post just months from now.

Carlson is supervisor of district improvement for Milford schools, and was once a history teacher and assistant principal. She attended Quinnipiac University, Southern Connecticut State University and is “energetic,” and “extremely bright,” Zeoli said.

He said she grew up in Orange and lives in town with her husband and two children.

“She is an outstanding, dedicated individual,” Zeoli said. “We would be hard- pressed to find anyone with these credentials.”

Board member John Carangelo said he knows Carlson personally and professionally. “She’s a perfect fit,” he said.


Russo, a lawyer of 20 years who lives in Orange, spoke of her reason for resigning in a detailed letter. Russo said she was a victim of sexual assault, and while she doesn’t believe the board or school officials would issue just a verbal warning for sex assault, the policy passed could allow that to happen.

She urged in the letter that those who have been assaulted or know someone who has, to “consider raising your voice not in opposition to our BOE, but in support of the victims who are on their journey to recovery.”

Amity and police officials disagreed with Russo’s interpretation.