New Canaan resident Philip Hogan is seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party for a seat on the elected Board of Education. We put some questions to Hogan about his candidacy. Our exchange follows.
New Canaanite: Tell us about yourself—how long have you lived in New Canaan, what have you been involved with here in town and what has led you to seek elected office?
Philip Hogan: My wife Milana and I have lived in town for five and a half years. Prior to New Canaan, we lived in NYC for 15 years. We decided to move because our daughter was on the cusp of kindergarten, our two boys were knocking down the walls in our 1,000 square foot apartment, and we had another baby on the way. Needless to say, it was time. When we were considering our relocation options, we were really struck by how vibrant New Canaan was. I remember driving down South Avenue one afternoon while house hunting and seeing people absolutely everywhere—on the fields, on bikes, out for runs. There was just an energy to the town that we thought was incomparable. We knew it was home. We quickly put down roots at St. Aloyisus and Playland Nursery School, and I dove into what I love doing more than anything else in the world…coaching. I have coached my daughter’s softball and soccer teams, and still coach my three boys’ soccer, baseball and flag football teams. I decided to seek elected office because my coaching career can’t go on forever, and I’d like another find anther way to give back to our great town. Getting the best out of each and every child on the athletic fields has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and the opportunity to help children maximize their abilities in the classroom is an even worthier cause.
What qualifies you for the office you are seeking?
I attended Boston College and graduated with a degree in economics. I spent the bulk of my professional career in Deutsche Bank’s High Yield group covering a variety of different sectors. That role required a tremendous amount of versatility, as I was selling a new deal one day and analyzing quarterly reports the next. Most recently I worked in business development and finance for a startup, which exposed me more to the operational side of business. However, my best qualification for the BOE is that I’ve been a dad and nothing but a dad for the past 18 months. Ushering my four children through remote learning was one of the hardest—but most rewarding—parental experiences of my life. It required me to adapt and push myself in ways I didn’t even know I was capable of. And this past year was more of the same, as we tackled, and then ultimately overcame, challenge after challenge together. With one child in Saxe, two at South, and one more starting at South a year from now, I’ve got a lot of proverbial skin in the game. I give my all to parenting my own children each and every day, and I know how much it takes to do the job well. I will bring that same level of engagement, a strong grasp of the issues, and a commitment to regularly connect and communicate with New Canaan parents to the BOE.
What is your vision for the elected body for which you are seeking GOP endorsement at the July 20 caucus?
I believe the BOE needs to be much more transparent, outward-facing and accessible on a day-to-day basis. Parents need to feel like they’re a substantial part of the equation, and that their questions and concerns will not only be heard but also factored into the decision-making process. I also believe the Board has a critical oversight role as it relates to the administration and its staff. None of us are experts on budget matters, curriculum, block scheduling, or start time implementation, but working collaboratively and out in the open will produce the best possible outcomes and ensure that no parents or residents feel marginalized when all is said and done. The BOE needs to be an active, engaged, and vigilant body in order to protect our kids and maintain New Canaan’s best-in-class schools.
[Editor’s Note: Through July 9, NewCanaanite.com is publishing Q&As with local Republicans seeking party endorsement for elected offices in contested races at the July 20 GOP caucus. We will publish letters of endorsement for the Republican caucus and Democratic endorsement meeting through July 9. Comments are disabled on this post.]