Fairfield County community mourns death of popular and longtime school board member



The sudden death of a popular leader and Board of Education member stunned a community in Fairfield County.

Norwalk Public Schools announced on Wednesday September 22 that longtime school board member Mike Barbis has passed away suddenly.

“The Norwalk School Board and Norwalk Public Schools are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Mike Barbis,” the district said.

A member of the Education Board since 2011, the District said Barbis was “a passionate and knowledgeable advocate for the students and schools of Norwalk.”

During his tenure on council, he served as chairman of the finance committee, negotiations and staff committee, and facilities committee, where he helped develop and oversee a new building and renovation plan for the district. school.

He served as Chairman of the Board from 2017 to 2019. Mike was also an active parent volunteer at Brien McMahon High School, as well as a tireless community volunteer in Rowayton and beyond.

“Our hearts go out to all of Mike’s family and friends. Arrangements are pending for a memorial service in Mike’s memory,” the district said.

The Rowaytonites said: “There has been a wave of requests to help celebrate the life of Mike Barbis. Mike’s family are deciding what to do at this very difficult time.”

Many others have paid tribute to Barbis on social media, including the Town who said, “Mike has dedicated a great deal of his life to the Town of Norwalk, to the students of Norwalk, and has done all that. he could to try to make the public school system the best. in the state, ”said Mayor Harry Rilling. “We made great progress during his tenure on the Council. “

Norwalk Republicans called Barbis’ death a “shocking day for Norwalk”.

Mike has served on the BOE since 2011 and was a passionate advocate for Norwalk Public Schools and has worked closely with many to dedicate himself to our community schools. Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time, ”they added. .

Democrats also praised Barbis: “He was outspoken, motivated and never hesitated to stand up for what he believed in,” they said on Facebook. “Mike has left an indelible mark on our community and will be sorely missed.”

The funeral and a memorial service for Barbis are underway, according to the school district.

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