Joe Aresimowicz never planned to be a politician. In fact, he “always considered himself the reluctant politician” and “never once for a moment thought he’d ever get involved in politics.”
On January 4, 2017, Aresimowicz was officially elected as the Connecticut Speaker of the House, in addition to proudly serving the 30th House District, which includes Berlin and Southington, as State Representative for his seventh term.
Prior to serving on the state level, Aresimowicz was just a concerned parent in Berlin, Conn. who ended up running for Town Council in the mid 1990’s. This led to serving three terms before being elected as a State Representative in 2004.
As a lifelong resident of Berlin and having gone through the local public school system, Aresimowicz believes that the recent changes in the high school help to “shape the identity of the town, especially Berlin High School which tends to be the real centerpiece of that identity.”
In 2008, BHS was at risk of losing it’s New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation, which prompted the renovations at the school. Today, the school proudly boasts state of the art classrooms, a brand new auditorium, a radio station, a TV station, and even more new resources for students to use.
That’s not the only change at BHS though. Aresimowicz now serves as the head coach for the high school football team. “I love football. I love being around the kids, and being not only a coach but also a mentor and a teacher.” He always wants to make sure his athletes are having a good time and learning life lessons.
Though it isn’t always about winning, but it definitely doesn’t hurt that last year, the Berlin Redcoats were successful in the win and loss columns.
While coaching still requires mental engagement, it’s a different type, separate from engagement from work, which helps to offer a break from his political life. In addition to coaching at the high school level, Aresimowicz is still involved with coaching two football teams at the youth level
He can also be found helping the Berlin High School Upbeat Peer Leadership Program and Ryan Lee Foundation receive funding. Whatever it is, he enjoys being able to be of assistance to the community whenever he can.
In January 2016, Aresimowicz visited H.C. Wilcox Technical High School with Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, former Berlin Town Manager Denise McNair, Berlin Economic Development Director Chris Edge, Economic Development Commissioner JoAnn Angelico- Stetson, and former Economic Development Associate Sheel Patel to tour the manufacturing program. The group got to meet with some of the students in the manufacturing program and hear about their experience so far in a technical high school.
Presently, through the budget process and legislation, Aresimowicz is pulling the VoTech Schools out from the Department of Education. The purpose is to make them independent, quasi government to help them work hand in hand with businesses and employers.
He is proud to say that this change will be happening this year, something the Vocational Technical schools can look forward to in the coming months.
To address the current issue in Conn. which would be the financial crisis, Aresimowicz believes in order to get to where the state needs to be, “there needs to be short term fixes with long term goal setting.” Everyone needs to look past party differences and consider what is best for the the state.
Aresimowicz offered some advice for anyone considering a political seat: “spend a lot of time listening and visiting and talking with people. Just listen to everyone as much as you can, find out what the people are thinking and what they want. Don’t worry about political parties and structure, just listen.”
Only a few months in this position but when it comes to being Speaker of the House, Aresimowicz says “I love it. It’s difficult at times but I really do love it.”