Tom Hennick - Selectman
Tom Hennick has been a resident of Durham since 1989. A Connecticut native, Tom also has been a resident of Essex, Middletown and Naugatuck, his hometown. Born and raised in Naugatuck, he attended the Taft School in Watertown, Ct., graduating in 1972 and Brown University in Providence, R.I., graduating in 1976.
Although Tom recently retired after 22 years as the Public Education Officer for Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission, his first profession was journalism. His first job was at the Middletown Press from 1976-1982. It was during that time when he was a reporter, news editor and sports reporter, that he became familiar with Middlesex County towns and Durham in particular. He was a frequent observer of the passion and community pride surrounding Coginchaug High School sports when, as a sportswriter, he covered Coginchaug High School basketball teams coached by the legendary Wally Camp.
Tom left the Press in 1982 to work at his family-owned business, the Naugatuck Daily News, from 1982-1988 where he was Executive Editor and Assistant Publisher. It was then that he met his future wife, Nancy McDermott. They were married in 1983. When the family business was sold in 1988 and Tom was asked to return to the Middletown Press, Tom and Nancy, with two young daughters in tow and a third on the way, looked at numerous houses in Middlesex County but zeroed in on Durham because of its community spirit and strong education system.
Even after Tom left the Press to work at the Waterbury Republican American from 1994 to 2001 as the Regional Editor, the Hennicks established deep roots in Durham. All three daughters, Meghan, Jamie and Holly, attended Regional School District 13 schools and graduated from Coginchaug in 2003, 2006 and 2008 respectively. Nancy became heavily involved at United Churches of Durham
During that time, Tom was an active volunteer in local schools. Before leaving town to work the night shift in Waterbury, he visited English classes at Korn and Memorial schools on a regular basis to help students with their reading, writing and public speaking schools. He was recognized for his volunteer service with an award from the Korn School in 1997.
In 2002, Tom was elected to the Regional District 13 Board of Education. He was re-elected four times and served a total of 10 years, the last five as board chairman. During that time, the board navigated numerous fiscal challenges and managed to provide fine educational opportunities to our students. Tom also served on the Board of Selectman from 2017-2019. He is currently a member of the Compensation Review and Personnel Policy Board.
Professionally, Tom has worked at the Freedom of Information Commission since 2001. In his role, Tom traveled around the state, conducting FOI seminars and workshops, educating members of the public as well as public officials about their rights and duties under the Act. In all he has conducted workshops for 161 of the state’s 169 towns. He is still assisting the commission on a part-time basis. He has received several awards for his service, including the Champion of Open Government Award from the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information (CFOG) in 2014, the Outstanding Service Award from the international Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) in 2019 and CFOG’s inaugural Mitchell W. Pearlman Award in 2022 for promoting transparency in government.