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Gov. Dannel Malloy chats with fifth-graders as Manchester Mayor Jay Moran and Keeney Principal Julie
Martin-Beaulieu look on.

Malloy’s Keeney Visit Highlights Opening Day

Gov. Dannel Malloy visited Keeney Elementary School on Thursday, and during a visit to a fifth-grade classroom fielded an intriguing question.

“Do you want to president?” asked a student in Chelsea Gordon’s class.

Malloy said no, adding, “but maybe a principal someday.”

The governor’s visit highlighted the first day of school in town – a day that went well, according to Superintendent Matt Geary.

Geary was among a group of dignitaries who greeted Malloy at Keeney School. Dianna Wentzell, the state education commissioner, was there as well, as were Manchester Mayor Jay Moran and school board chairman Chris Pattacini.

Actually, school did not start Thursday for students in grades 8, 10, 11 and 12 – because both Illing Middle School and MHS have just first-year students report on the first day of school. MHS has had a “freshman first day” for years but this was the first time Illing has opened with just seventh-graders reporting for classes.

Also new this year – the presence of two STEM specialists in each elementary school.

The big news, though, was at Keeney.

Malloy chatted with students in Ms. Gordon’s class for about five minutes. One student asked if he had children, and Malloy said he has three sons who are all grown.

Another student asked how you become governor.

“There’s an election – and I sneak by,” he said, as adults chuckled, recognizing the allusion to his tight victory over Thomas Foley in 2010.

Malloy, who grew up in Stamford, then reminisced about the teachers that he was most fond of when he was in school.

As he was leaving the classroom, he mentioned how nice the classroom looked, and asked for the name of the maintenance person who was responsible.

The kids said “Mr. Donald” – referring to Donald Thompson.

“When you see Mr. Donald you should tell him” how nice the school looks, Malloy said. “And tell him the governor says hello.”

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