Former legislator Preston dies in Connecticut hospital

Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM.

Looking back at Preston’s career, McElraft said the legacy she leaves is the passion she had for education.

“She was an educator all her life, and she educated the General Assembly about the importance of a good education for our children,” McElraft said.

Preston was a retired educator who served as a special education teacher, school administrator and principal.

During her tenure in the Senate, she was co-chair of the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education/Higher Education. She was also joint Republican caucus leader.

“Jean Preston was a pioneer in the field of special education who dedicated her life to ensuring our children have the brightest future possible,” Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger R-Rockingham said in a statement Thursday. “As a legislator, Sen. Preston worked tirelessly on education reform and on achieving better results for our students. She was legendary in her district for an amazing work ethic and commitment to providing outstanding constituent service. Sen. Preston was a dear friend, and my colleagues and I will miss her greatly.”

Preston had wrapped up her final days in office and was on vacation in Connecticut when she had a serious fall down stairs during the week of Christmas and was admitted to the hospital. She was in intensive care at the hospital in Waterbury when she died at 12:20 a.m. Thursday.

Preston announced last January that she would not seek re-election, deciding to retire after two decades in public service. She wanted to spend more time with her family, including her two grandchildren.

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