BRIDGEPORT, Conn – Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed Rafael Fonseca Jr., a city native and longtime Norwalk police officer, as the newest member of the Bridgeport Board of Education.
Fonseca has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Andre Baker.
Ganim said that under the Bridgeport City Charter, he has the authority to fill a vacancy when the board fails to appoint a new member within 30 days of the vacancy.
The mayor said he made the appointment after waiting well past the 30-day window. The board of education gave no indication that it was moving to fill the vacancy, he said.
“Though I would have preferred that the board of education move to fill this vacancy on its own, I am compelled by duty to make this appointment so our schools can function with proper guidance from a full board,” Ganim said Wednesday.
He praised Fonseca’s work in his hometown of Bridgeport.
“Ralphie Fonseca’s dedication to community and country is evident by looking at his career of putting his life on the line to protect all of us as a police officer and a member of our military," Ganim said. "We are all grateful that Ralphie is once again volunteering to serve – this time in a critical post that will allow the Bridgeport Board of Education to function properly with all members present. Key decisions need to be made and there is so much work to be done.”
Fonseca is a lifelong Bridgeport resident, has served as a police officer in Norwalk for 15 years and before that served as a police officer in Ridgefield for four years.
As part of his service in law enforcement, Fonseca served as a school resource officer and was active in the D.A.R.E program. He has also coached Little League baseball for many years.
Fonseca is also a military veteran, having served for 13 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, attaining a rank of Sergeant first class at the time of his honorable discharge.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. He and his wife, Dolores, have one daughter and one son, and are longtime residents of the East Side of Bridgeport.
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