School Committee to fill 2 vacant seatsBy Mike Berger
When the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee jointly meet on Tuesday, July 24, they will be reviewing applicants for two vacant School Committee seats.
Within weeks of the resignation of committee member Liz Salisbury, whose family has relocated to Pittsburgh, committee member Jill Stevens notified the committee of her plans to resign for family reasons.
The notification came within a day of the committee’s scheduled meeting with selectmen (July 10) to fill Salisbury’s seat, so Chairman John Bonnanzio decided to postpone the meeting for two weeks in order to give more time to prospective candidates.
Bonnanzio said there is already a well-qualified candidate to bring to selectmen, and he is confident another will be found before the July 24 meeting. Those interested in applying should send a letter of interest to Bonnanzio, courtesy of the Canton School Committee, 960 Washington St., Canton, MA 02021.
Bonnanzio also feels it is better that both candidates start at the same time period. Currently the committee consists of Bonnanzio, Reuki Schutt, and Cindy Thomas. If there is emergency business before the committee’s regularly scheduled meeting on July 26, there are enough members to have a quorum and conduct official business.
Both vacant positions, once filled, will be up for election again in April 2013 along with the seats now held by Bonnanzio and Schutt.
Bonnanzio said the committee will miss the work and enthusiasm of both Salisbury and Stevens, noting they have been thoughtful, energetic, and articulate. Stevens had also been quite helpful in her role on the policy subcommittee. Bonnanzio said he would not be surprised if Stevens becomes active at some point as a parent volunteer. “Jill has done a terrific job for us,” he said. “It is sad to see her go.”
Reached for comment on Sunday, Stevens told the Citizen that the careers of both herself and her husband “have become more demanding in the past nine months, and our first priority has to be our children, who will only be young once.”
“When I ran for election after serving a one-year appointed term for Tim Brooks’ vacated seat, I did not anticipate the changes in my career that have made it increasingly difficult to balance family and work obligations with the dedication and time commitment that serving on the School Committee warrants and deserves,” Stevens said. “It was my absolute honor and privilege to serve on the committee. They are a talented, dedicated, and selfless group. I greatly admire their desire to promote the value of public education and the strength of our public schools. I will continue to support their work as well as the initiatives of our wonderful administrators, faculty, and staff.”
Stevens grew up in Providence and attended public schools there. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a master’s degree in teaching and curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has taught high school social studies in Massachusetts and New York and currently teaches in Sharon. She and her husband, Russell, and their two daughters have lived in Canton since 2002. Both daughters attend the Canton Public Schools.
Stevens has been active in the Canton Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) and has chaired both its Honor Thy Teacher Campaign and its annual spelling bee. She is also a certified yoga instructor.
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