The Oxford Board of Education tonight will honor the memory of Brandon Giordano, a 15-year-old who died in a car accident on March 9. The board will hold a moment of silence at its meeting at 7 p.m. in the high school's library/media center on the top floor of the building at 61 Quaker Farms Road.
Giordano was a sophomore and member of the school's football team. He has been described by his friends and family as a jokester who always tried to make others laugh.
Since his death, Giordano has been memorialized by several students, teachers, administrators, municipal officials and others. Students have bonded over the loss, which marked the first time an Oxford High School student died since the school opened in 2007. Students and other community members also organized a pasta on March 16 to raise money for a scholarship that will be given annually to a graduating OHS senior in Giordano's name. On top of raising thousands for the scholarship, the community donated several thousand more dollars to help Giordano's family pay for funeral-related expenses. , all told, donations have surmounted $25,000.
The tragedy has struck a couple school board members particularly hard. Chairwoman Paula Guillet went to the scene on the night of the accident and attended a candlelight vigil in Giordano's memory the following night at the high school. And school board member Gerard Carbonaro coached Giordano in football and knew him and his family well. Carbonaro spoke eloquently at Giordano's funeral service, saying he loved Brandon. "Just know that Brandon is in a place full of love and humor, and he fits right in," Carbonaro said during the service. ()
Accident Investigation Ongoing
The accident in which Giordano died is still being investigated by a state police accident reconstruction team, whose investigation could take several more weeks. Giordano was a backseat passenger in a 2000 Ford Mustang convertible owned by Eric H. Ramirez, 19, of 3 Wood Road in Oxford. Ramirez was driving the car when he crashed into a building late on Friday, March 9.
A state police report says Ramirez was trying to avoid being pulled over by a Seymour Police officer and sped up to avoid the officer - , which are not confirmed on the record by official police sources authorized to speak to the press, say that Ramirez was driving in excess of 80 mph and turned his lights off to avoid being found by police. Officially, police have revealed in a public report that Ramirez turned the car from Route 67 onto Old State Road and struck an embankment, which caused the car to become airborne, strike a building at 43 Old State Road and flip upside down; Giordano was pronounced dead at the scene around midnight.
Ramirez, who had to take driver retraining twice in two years because of traffic violations, had not been charged with a crime in connection to the case as of Monday because the investigation is not complete. He suffered serious injuries following the accident but is out of the hospital. A third passenger, Dion Major, 16, also of Oxford, was not seriously injured.
Other Items on Tuesday's School Board Agenda
- The board will honor Oxford High School students who were recognized by the Connecticut Department of Education for scoring all fours and fives, the two highest scores possible, on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test.
- The board will a hear a presentation from the director of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which provides accreditation services for more than 2,000 schools in New England.
- And board members will discuss an update of the rental of - the site of the school system's administrative offices - from Northeast Utilities.
Executive session: The board is also expected to meet behind closed doors with its attorney to "discuss and possibly take action pertaining to the State Board of Labor Relations pending litigation," according to Tuesday's agenda. Though the agenda doesn't specifically state what case is going to be discussed, we anticipate the discussion will be about a lawsuit filed by former Oxford Superintendent Judith Palmer, who claims she is owed $4,200 by the Oxford school district; school officials deny the claim. .
Note: The agenda says action may be taken on this matter. All votes must be taken in open session, per state law.
Click on the attached PDF at the right to see the full agenda.