Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion members are appointed by the Board of Selectman on an annual basis. Currently, their term ends in September 2021. The Committee meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month. See here for agendas and minutes.
Persons interested in being appointed to this Ad Hoc Committee need to submit a completed application to the First Selectman's office. Click here to do so and for more information.
- Trudie Luck Roberts, Chair
- Anthea Grotton, Vice Chair
- Paulette Barnes
- Francie Berger
- Lindsay Castonguay Hany
- Ayushman Choudhury, Student Member
- Brian Cocuzzo
- Jamelle Elliott
- Amy Mondschein
- Ramona Puchalski-Piretti
- Scott Raiola
- Gomathi Ramachandran
- Uma Sekar
- Bharani Shakamuri Rajendran
- Abby Varney
- Lenora Williams
- Melissa Haberern, Ellington Board of Education Liaison
- Joy Hollister, Ellington Human Services Director
- Alisha Goss, Recording Secretary
I am a Hoosier by birth, and a Yankee by choice, having lived in New England the past 40+ years, successfully transferring my allegiance from the Chicago Cubs to the Boston Red Sox. I am a voracious reader and intensely curious about our world. As a life-long public servant and educator, I am most recently retired as principal of Center School. Through that work, I have come to deeply respect the people of this community. Since my retirement, I have been looking for an avenue by which I can continue to make a difference for the Town of Ellington. Diversity and inclusion speak to my purpose and personal values. You will find me respectful of all persons. Listening without judgment, speaking with intention not impulse, focusing on the situation rather than the person(s) or collective emotions, being empathetic, and welcoming all voices to the conversation are values I hold dear. Together we have some challenging but exciting work to bring our mission statement to fruition.
“I believe it's our responsibility to show our communities the value of all people, to celebrate different, and to take a stand for acceptance and inclusion.” – Julie Foudy, Olympian and FIFA Champion
Multiracial mom, wife, sister, daughter, educator, leader, advocate. Growing up in a loving, close knit multiracial family means equity work is crucial, important work that has been a lifelong passion of mine. Equity work is not a job for me, it is who I am, it is ingrained in all that I do both inside and out of the classroom. Active member of Teacher Leader Fellowship Program at CCSU, teacher of 20 years, Teacher of the Year for Tolland district (2014-15).
I was born in London, England and moved to the United States when I was 18 years old to live with my father, step mother and younger sister. After being here for a while and not being able to work, I decided to go back to school. I applied to Greater Hartford Community College, (that is what it was called back then). I worked on my Associate degree and in 1986 I graduated with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. After graduating from GHCC things were not going very well with my family so I moved out and moved in with a girlfriend. I found jobs cleaning houses. At one point I was working four different jobs to make ends meet. As the years went by things started looking up for me, or so I thought. I got married. In the beginning I thought I was in heaven until the abuse started and going to the hospital was a monthly occurrence, but although my home life was a nightmare, my work life was good. After three years I finally got the courage to leave the marriage and get a divorce, again my life was looking bright.
I met my second husband at Travelers Insurance Company, we became very good friends then got married. I went back to school and received my undergraduate degree in Psychology and my Master's degree in Social Work. After receiving my Master’s degree, I worked as a Therapist with convicted sex offenders, I also worked with Elementary aged children who confided in someone that they had been sexually abused. I interviewed the child who was the accuser and the person who was the accused. I would then write a report which would then be passed onto the Department of Children and Families.
After seven years of marriage my husband and I had a son, at which point we moved to Ellington. After having my son, I decided to stay home with him. When my son was old enough to go to Elementary school I decided to volunteer in his classroom. Once he got old enough, he decided that he did not want me in his classroom anymore so I applied for a job at Crystal Lake school as a Cafeteria and Playground Aide. After a number of years, I wanted to do more, so I went for a position as a Paraprofessional working with students who had special needs. I worked with two students doing various things with them inside and outside of the classroom. Then before I knew it the years had gone by and one of my students was old enough to move onto Windermere. I worked with my other student for a number of years at Crystal Lake. Then due to the lack of a P. A. L room at Crystal Lake my student and I were transferred to Windermere School. My time working with my student at Windermere came to an end due to my having severe back problems which caused me to end up on disability.
My family and I have lived in Ellington for 20 years. As mentioned before, a number of those years were working in the Ellington school system from Aide to Paraprofessional. Those years getting to know the students and their parents gave me a great deal of joy. Now meeting and working with people who are willing to try hard to help the citizens of Ellington expand their viewpoints on its diverse community is not only important to me but enriching.
I grew up in New York (Queens), went to school in southwestern VA (VA Tech), moved here to work as a designer for a toy company with my Bachelor of Architecture. I returned to school for my Master of Library Science 10 years ago and have been the town's Reference Librarian/Programming Coordinator for the past 10 years. My brother likes to say that I have made it my mission to ram culture down the throats of the residents of our town whether they want it or not. I have just taken a one-year leave of absence to serve as the Manager of Finance and Administration at the Enfield Loaves & Fishes soup kitchen. I live to travel, hence love to learn about different people, cultures and traditions. I believe that my strengths in the group will lie in creating and maintaining community partnerships and planning and implementing events. I am oh so psyched to work with all of you and am really looking forward to creating new, meaningful friendships through our work together.
Lindsay Castonguay Hany is a Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for the Connecticut / Western Massachusetts market in Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In this capacity, her responsibilities include leading a team of specialists focused on understanding each client’s unique needs to deliver strategic financial guidance and solutions. She focuses a lot of her time on working with Woman owned and led companies.
At Bank of America, Lindsay has also served as an underwriter, portfolio management officer and a client manager associate. She has worked in the firm’s Hartford and New York City offices. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2008, Lindsay worked in Marketing at a multi-national, 850 attorney law firm, helping to drive the business of the financial restructuring and bank and commercial finance practice groups.
To help create a more sustainable future, Lindsay volunteers with several not-for-profit organizations focused on ending hunger and homelessness, children’s education, and the arts. She serves on the Boards of Directors of Riverfront Recapture, Educational Resources for Children and Scapegoat Garden. As a member and co-president of the Connecticut Chapter of Bank of America’s Women’s Exchange, she works to support, empower and promote women at the company. She also serves on the Company’s Northeast Regional Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Originally from Ellington Connecticut, Lindsay graduated with a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of the Arts in Advertising from Suffolk University. Lindsay resides in Ellington, CT with her husband Todd and their three children Parker, Cameron and Isabell.
I’m a senior at Ellington High School, and I’ve been an Ellington resident since 2008. At EHS, I’ve engaged with my local community through my various leadership positions at my high school. Whether commemorating American Enterprise Day with local business owners in FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), organizing music performances at local senior centers through our Tri-M Music Honor Society, or providing logistics support for schoolwide events, I’ve used my positions to enrich the community of Ellington High School.
My service has also extended to our Board of Education, where I am the Student Representative. My voice has been especially key this fall, representing the student body in discussions about the reopening of our schools in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I’ve served as a connection to allow students to share their concerns with the board and to communicate important information and decisions to the student body. I’m extending this work through the State Student Advisory Council on Education.
Outside of school, I’m an avid classical musician on piano and clarinet. I also maintain a YouTube channel and sheet music e-business for Hindi music, which has allowed me to connect with my Indian heritage.
I have been an Ellington resident for 33 years. My wife Beth and I are empty-nesters and have two grown children.
I work in the Information Technology field. I recently took an early retirement package but continue to work part-time in IT.
I am an active member of the Ellington Congregational Church. I am currently chairing our Open and Affirming Committee, which is a process at the end of which our church will decide whether to affirm the full inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and non-binary persons (LGBTQ) in the church's life and ministry. One would wish that such a process would be unnecessary but in many religious traditions, implicit or explicit exclusion of various groups, particularly the LBGTQ+ community, is the norm.
I’m particularly interested in how we engage the community and community organizations in being a part of our mission.
I came to the state of Connecticut at the age of 18 as a member of the UConn Women’s Basketball team. I then served 12 years as a UConn assistant coach from 1997-2009. In 2009, I left the state to become the Head Coach at the University of Cincinnati for 9 years. I currently serve as assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Connecticut after returning to start my second stint as both assistant coach an Ellington resident, returning to Ellington in June of 2018 after previously being a resident from 1999 to 2009.
Hi there, I'm Amy Mondschein. I've lived here in Ellington with my husband and two children since 2005. We are Jewish and are active members at our wonderful synagogue, Congregation Knesseth Israel, here in town where my husband is the lay leader.
I am a Licensed Social Worker with vast experience in the field, I've worked with many different populations and believe in advocating for others.
I asked to be a member of this committee because I'd like to see our Ellington community embrace diversity and be more inclusive of different groups and individuals. As a Jewish family, we have experienced being the minority in Ellington. Our children have experienced antisemitism in the school system, have been targeted by students and have questioned why is this still happening in this day and age? My definition of diversity extends beyond race, religion, age and gender, it also includes socioeconomics and developmental differences.
I am looking forward to being a member of this committee and sharing my views.
I have lived in Ellington for the last four years with my wife Jaclyn and my golden retriever Lola. I grew up just down the road in South Windsor, but fell in love with Ellington through my work at the middle school as a teacher, school counselor, and coach. In addition to my work at EMS, I'm also the head coach of the East Catholic Girls Soccer Program and an assistant coach for the Ellington High School Boys Lacrosse Program. I'm truly excited to be a part of this committee and to work with such a diverse and passionate group of individuals to make a difference in our community. Like many, I'm hoping to shift from just talking about the challenges we face to taking real action.
I have lived in Ellington for about 6 years now and I love this town. Ellington is love at first sight for me and my love towards the town has only increased in the number of years I’ve resided in this town. I’m a wife, mom of two kids, and a science educator at Ellington high school. I also teach science for grade six remote learners. I like listening to people’s stories and how their experiences have helped shape their present situation. I find it very powerful and believe strongly that this small yet powerful act of deep listening would help in celebrating our differences and creating a positive change in our society.
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin
to change, grow, and transform.” - Roy T. Bennett
I was born in Southern India and moved to Connecticut almost 11 years ago and living in Ellington for 6 years now. I have a Masters in Computer Science and currently work at UCONN as an IT professional. Lucky/Blessed to be a Mom of two amazing kids and to have a husband who supports and respects me. I’m in this committee mainly for my kids and contribute/ensure they have a Community that believes in equality and dignity of an individual regardless of their color/religion discourage any for discrimination. Growing up I was oblivious to the fact there was discrimination all around me, I’m against any form of discrimination.
I am a lifelong Ellington resident with the exception of 13 years spent in Virginia where I started my career in education. While in Virginia I was a special education teacher, then moved into the role of Assistant Principal and ultimately Principal of an elementary school. Family reasons brought me back to Ellington, CT in 2011. Since being back I have worked for Ellington Public Schools in the role of Supervisor of Special Services. I have a daughter who attends Center School and she is in first grade. I am thrilled to be acting as the EPS liaison for this committee. I am deeply committed to the mission of this committee and look forward to working collaboratively with everyone.
It is an honor to work with so many dedicated, impassioned and educated people as the Town of Ellington's representative for this Committee. I look forward to the many events, educational opportunities and positive changes that comes about. I am here to support the committee's goal of making Ellington For Everyone.
On a personal level, for the majority of my life, I have lived in a very diverse community. I am also a first-generation American. My life experiences are not very different from some, but they are the total opposite from many others. Neither is wrong or right. For me, the exposure to so many different, good, hardworking, loving, and brave people has been one of the biggest gifts of my life. It is how I came to love human services.