Hamden educator challenging Leng for town’s top spot

HAMDEN – A Hamden educator is challenging Democratic Mayor Curt Balzano Leng for the town’s top spot.
Republican Salman Hamid taught at Hamden High School for eight years before becoming the district’s K-12 District-wide Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator.
Both Leng and Hamid were endorsed last week at each party’s caucus that nominated candidates for local seats up this November. If he wins, Leng will serve his second full term. He won a special election in May of 2015 after former Mayor Scott Jackson resigned to take a job in Hartford, and again in November for his first full term.
Hamid was born in Pakistan in 1985 and came to the United States with his family in 1988. His family first moved to New Haven before settled in southern Hamden in 1993, he said.  He attended Church Street, Hamden Middle School and Hamden High School before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree in history with a certification in education from Albertus Magnus College He then earned a master’s degree at
Southern Connecticut State University, where he was awarded the James Madison Fellowship, as well as a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Quinnipiac University.
“My parents left everything they knew behind in Pakistan so they could have the best for their children in the land of opportunity,” he said. “My father worked in a warehouse his entire career and my mother as a daycare provider. Both my parents instilled in us the importance of hard work and education.”
It was what he saw in his Hamden classrooms that inspired him to want to join them on the other side of the desk, he said.
“Great educators in Hamden’s public schools had a profound impact on me, inspiring me to search for a way to give back to my community,” he said. “I saw no better way to give back than to become an educator myself.”
After teaching Social Studies at Hamden High School for eight
years, he went on to become the K-12 District-wide Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, as well as an educator at ACES Wintergreen Magnet School, he said.
He also has served as the first and second Vice Chair on the Connecticut Education Association’s board of directors.
On the side, he has managed the Sunoco/Exxon station on Whitney Ave., managed a Liberty Tax Service in Ansonia and Shelton for
several years, and he currently trains future educators as an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University, he said.
His town service includes serving as a member of the Clean and Green Committee, and recently trained as a citizen first responder with Hamden CERT. He also is the treasurer of the newly constructed Islamic Center of Hamden on Newhall Street, and created the non-profit, American Muslims United, where youth assist in neighborhood cleanups.

“As a longtime Hamden resident with a demonstrated passion for and service to this community, I am asking for [voter’s] support in November to help pave a better future for Hamden,” he said.
He can be found on Facebook at Hamid for Hamden and on Twitter at
@HamidforHamden, and will be taking part at community events throughout the fall season, he said.

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