Board Member Biographies

Fiona Cappabianca - Chairperson

Ms. Cappabianca serves on the Board of Directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation CT/Western Mass Chapter. She is currently Vice-President of the Chapter. She is also past President of the PTOC, which is a district-wide council of all PTO's in Torrington. She is Chair and Co-Chair to a couple of other organizations in the Litchfield area. She is currently employed at Pension Consultant, Inc. She resides in Torrington with her husband, Steven, and their three children, who all attend Torrington Public Schools.




Jessica Richardson - Vice-Chairperson

Jess Richardson has been a Torrington resident since 1998. In 2001 she left the workforce to become a full-time mom and has since focused on raising her children, homemaking, freelance writing, and investing in her community by volunteering in a variety of settings.

Ms. Richardson spent many years as the Coordinator of the Litchfield Mothers of Preschoolers, a group that provided practical, emotional, spiritual and social support for mothers of children ages birth thru five. Litchfield MOPS served a diverse demographic of women and children from throughout NW CT and beyond. In addition, she has worked as a regular classroom volunteer at both the elementary and middle school level, working directly with students as well as assisting with grading and other responsibilities. She also served as the race director for the “Run For Chuck 5k Run/Walk,” an event held at Torrington High School that funded the Chuck Pataky Memorial Scholarship, which is given out annually to a graduating THS senior.  

She resides with her husband Pat, their two children Ben and Shanley, a greyhound named Brody, and Ginger, a calico cat. The wife of a coach and the mother of two active athletes, you can almost always find her on the sidelines somewhere, cheering on a local team. In the rest of her free time, Ms. Richardson enjoys reading a good book, running, rummaging for bargains at estate sales, writing for her own enjoyment and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to have the opportunity to give back to her community in a new way through serving on the Board of Education. She believes that good things are happening in Torrington, and that through collaboration and hard work we can make the future of our school system, and our town, even brighter.



Ellen Hoehne - Secretary

Ms. Hoehne was elected to the Board in November, 2009. She attended Torrington Public Elementary schools and Torrington High School and is currently employed as a Business Office Associate and Accounts Payable Specialist at Renbrook School in West Hartford. She and her husband, Michael, along with her two children and four grandchildren all reside in Torrington.




Dr. Joanne K. Brogis


Dr. Brogis was elected to the Board of Education in November 2015. She retired as an assistant principal in Torrington Public Schools in 2011 with 32 years and from the US Air Force Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2011 with 30 years, and she continues to interview potential candidates for the US Air Force Academy. She served on four NEASC evaluation committees, was a delegate to the College Board, and was member of the Connecticut Association of Schools Board of Directors.

Dr. Brogis brought the JROTC program and the first career center to Torrington High School. Since retirement, she has served as a college consultant, Goodwill Career Center job coach, area assessment coordinator for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, student teacher supervisor for the University of New Haven, special education advocate, and Adult Education Director in New Milford Public Schools.

Dr. Brogis is currently a Transitions Counselor for Western Connecticut Regional Adult Education in Danbury Public Schools since 2011, encompassing credit diploma, GED, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, and citizenship. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. She serves on the Torrington Area Youth Services Board of Directors, vice-president of Delta Kappa Gamma, and vice-president of the Starwood Board of Directors. She was formerly chairperson of the Region #6 Board of Education. Her favorite hobby is travel, having visited many countries and every continent. She has three children who graduated from the Torrington Public Schools and currently resides in Torrington with her husband Roger.


Bill Knight

Mr. Knight joined the Torrington Board of Education in October 2014. He has been a Torrington resident since September of 1998. He lives here with his wife, Lois, and their adopted daughter, Meeka. Their daughter, Meeka, is in the fourth grade at Torringford Elementary School.

Mr. Knight received his Master’s Degree in College Teaching and Therapeutic Recreation from Southern Connecticut State University in May of 1985. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure Education from Southern Connecticut State College, and an Associate’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Northwestern Connecticut Community College.

Mr. Knight is heavily involved in community service to the city of Torrington. He has been a member of the Torrington Lions club, a Kettleworker for the Salvation Army of the Northwest Hills, and he’s very active in the Torrington Advent Christian Church. Before becoming a member of the Board of Education, Bill served as a member of the Torrington Board of Selectman for just under three years.

When Bill is not serving in his official capacity he enjoys spending time with friends and family. He also enjoys listening to and debating about collegiate and professional sports events, folk singing, hiking, and swimming. He is excited about this new opportunity to serve my community, and he is looking forward to providing the best educational opportunity possible to the children of Torrington.


Armand Maniccia

After graduating from Torrington High School, Mr. Maniccia continued his education at NCCC then WCSU, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice and Law Administration. He then continued his education at the University of Bridgeport while interning at the Torrington Middle School and graduating with a Masters of Science in Education. While working as a teacher, Mr. Maniccia attended SCSU and completed 30 credits of  course work for a cross endorsement in special education.  He is currently a special education teacher in Naugatuck working in the transitional program.  



Wendy Pataky

Ms. Pataky is a graduate of Torrington High School and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut, a Connecticut Teacher’s Certificate, 7-12 Social Studies, from Central Connecticut State University, a Master’s Degree in American Studies from Fairfield University.

Ms. Pataky is a former Teacher, Teacher Mentor, Curriculum Advisor, and Department Coordinator. Her career began as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Newtown Middle School, Newtown, CT and continued at the high school level at Staples High School, Westport, CT and Litchfield High School, Litchfield, CT.

Ms. Pataky serves on the Board of Directors of the Torrington Little League and is a volunteer for various charitable organizations dedicated to supporting cancer research. Local activism includes LLS Light the Night Walk and the Run for Chuck 5k, which raised funds for the THS Chuck Pataky Memorial Scholarship, as well as Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She has two sons, Charlie, age 16, a Sophomore at THS and Tommy, age 11, is in 5th grade at Torringford School.   



Daniel Thibault

Mr. Thibault is a life-long resident of Torrington. He was educated at East School for Kindergarten through 5th. He then attended Vogel-Wetmore Middle School for 6th. Mr. Thibault transferred to St. Francis of Assisi School for grades 7 & 8 and is a graduate of Oliver Wolcott Technical School in Torrington. He went on to manage a computer company, designing, installing and maintaining both LAN’s & WAN’s for schools and corporations in Litchfield County. During this time he took business classes at UCONN and went for his MCSE in Windows 2000 & 2000 Server. He was hired to handle Xerox Direct sales in the Litchfield and Hartford County areas. This included providing full analyst services and cost-to-value proposition breakdowns for government agencies and boards of education. He headed up Government, Education and Medical sales for Kyocera Mita America Direct in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Mr. Thibault enjoys competitive ballroom dancing in his free time.



Ken Traub

Mr. Traub is a life-long resident of Torrington being elected to the Torrington Board of Education in November, 2009 and Chairman in December, 2011. He attended Torringford School in Kindergarten and transfered to St. Francis of Assisi School for grades 1 - 6. He then attended Vogel-Wetmore Junior High School for grades 7 -8 and later went on to Torrington High School for grades 9 - 12. He graduated from CCSU with a Bachelors of Science and Civil Engineering and a Masters of Science in Organizational Management.He is currently owner and president of Hemlock Directional Boring, Inc. of Torrington. He resides in Torrington with his wife Wendy and their children.



Peter Vergaro

Mr. Vergaro attended Torrington Public Schools and graduated from Torrington High School in 1974.  He then attended the United States Air Force Academy, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs and a commission as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. After flying for 11 years on active duty, he returned to Torrington and served in the CT Air National Guard as an A-10 pilot.  He retired from the CTANG as a Lt Col in 2000 with more than 3,000 hours of flying time. He has flown both domestic and international aircraft as a pilot for Northwest Airlines. While flying for Northwest, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Torrington school system on his days off for seven years.  He earned his certification as a Teacher of Mathematics in 2007. He was a full-time math teacher at Torrington High School for eight years. He completed his teaching service in Torrington in June 2015 and was elected to the Board of Education in November 2015. Mr. Vergaro has a Master of Arts degree in Management and currently teaches mathematics at Pomperaug High School in Southbury.