Letters of Interest for School Committee Vacancy Due Today; Three Candidates so Far.

Today is the final day to submit a Letter of Interest for the vacancy on Weston’s five-member School Committee. The appointee to this position will serve the remainder of a vacated term, which will expire in May 2022. As of this moment, there are three candidates who have submitted letters of interest.

As provided by Mass. General Law, the vacancy resulting from a resignation announced on April 12 (as covered by the Weston Owl here) is filled by vote of a quorum of the Select Board and the sitting members of the School Committee. Originally there was a call for letters of interest on April 19, with the thought of appointing a new member on April 27 which would have been before the Town Election. Due to strong community pushback that the new members of the School Committee be allowed to have a voice in the choice, the letter of interest and appointment deadlines were delayed until after the election. While there were three candidates for two positions on the School Committee in the Town Election, Mass General Law does not allow the third-place candidate to automatically be named to the role.

Per the Town’s communication, the School Committee “establishes the budget, develops educational policy, and hires the superintendent for the Weston Public Schools.  It is responsible, along with school administration, for collective bargaining with the unions representing School Department employees, and for the operation and maintenance of school facilities.”

Per the Owl, School Committee candidates should be made of steel–along with Select Board and Zoning Board of Appeals members, there is no volunteer role that takes more flack in this town. The positive side of this is we, as a town, care a lot about education (and costs, apparently) and our students. The negative side of this is things get…ahhhh…dramatic. If I were to make a Netflix series, I would call it “Intrigue” and set it here in Weston, focused on the inner workings of small-town volunteer boards. Alas, I have a day job.

Back to actual fact. The Owl knows the following about the three current candidates for the appointed role: one is the third-place finisher in the Town Election, Tricia Liu; one is former School Committee member Danielle Black; and one is a 45+ years professor of management at Boston College, Frank J Parker. Thank you to each one of these candidates for being willing to put in the time, effort, and care it takes to be a School Committee member. I hope you’re made of steel.

It’s not too late to get your Letter in if you have been waiting to see which way the winds blow. Applicants submitting Letters of Interest must be registered voters of the town of Weston. Letters, including the candidate’s background information, must be emailed to the Town of Weston Select Board, at selectboard@westonma.gov, and/or School Committee at schoolcommittee@weston.org, by the end of the day Friday, May 21st, 2021. Interviews are set for May 25th at 6:15 p.m.

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