Board of Selectmen and School Committee Joint Meeting
June 3, 2014
Regular Session 6:38 pm
Present: Irma Lauter, Paul Healey, Selectmen, Ted Alexiades, Administrator and Betty Foley, Assistant Town Administrator
School Committee members Ray Estes, Carol M. Falvey, Dennis Friedman, Liza O’Reilly, Edward Schreier, and Andy Shafter and members of the School Administration.
The meeting was called to order by the Chair of the BOS, Irma Lauter;
SC Chair Ray Estes convened the School Committee.
Mr. Estes, School Committee chairman reported that Bob Falvey passed away the previous night. The School Committee and Board of Selectmen wish the families our deepest sympathies. Mr. Falvey served on a number of Boards, most notably the School Committee. Hingham lost a great man and he will be missed.
Ms. Lauter reviewed the agenda for the evening, one portion of which would be a joint session with the SC and devoted to interviews, discussion of candidates and a possible vote on the SC vacancy resulting from Paul Gannon’s resignation from the SC.
Joint Session with School Committee –School Committee Vacancy Interviews
Each candidate was interviewed by the two Selectmen present and each of the School Committee members present at the time. In addition to the interview, the process would include discussion by the BOS and SC members present at the time and a subsequent roll call vote to name the replacement. This appointment will be for the remaining portion of Mr. Gannon’s term, until the next Town Election in 2015. Summarized below are some of the candidate comments expressed during the interview.
• Aylene Calnan is a lifelong resident of the South Shore. She is an attorney specializing in divorce matters and currently practices law part-time. She has demonstrated dedication to the Hingham Public Schools finishing her eighth year as PTO Officer and has been committed to various community service activities. She is familiar with the issues surrounding PARCC testing versus MCAS; she is also aware of current union negotiations, level funded budgets and the ongoing discussion about full day kindergarten. She likes challenging tasks and realizes this is a time consuming appointment. Ms. Calnan acknowledged working to consensus can be difficult to achieve. In terms of improving communication, Ms Calnan stated there is always an opportunity to engage in conversation with residents and suggested the School Committee send out a quarterly email blast to parents. She feels a clear strength of the School Committee is the quality of education in Hingham.
• Christopher Andruszkiewicz is the father of four children and chose to live in Hingham for its leadership and high performance school system. He is seeking consideration for the purpose of enhancing students’ educational life and believes in the importance of public education. He is an IT professional and would like to share this knowledge with the community. Mr. Andruszkiewicz has a core understanding of current educational issues but is not involved in any educational committees at this time. He is not familiar with the role and responsibilities of a School Committee member but stated he is a quick study and hopes members of the Committee would guide him along the way; he would rely on their collective wisdom. He stated technology should enhance education and may accelerate learning and it is important to foster creativity and curiosity in children, from the exceptional to those with special needs.
• Andrew Ayer has two children in Hingham Public Schools and is a supporter of the Hingham community. His community involvement includes youth sports photography, former board member of the Hingham Sports Partnership and creator of Hinghamsports.com. He stated technological issues will continue to be a challenge for the School Committee, as it changes rapidly. Mr. Ayer cited his best example of consensus building was selling the idea of a unified platform with youth sports organizations in order to provide better communication for parents. Mr. Ayer stated parents and the community gather information through traditional media, such as HCAM and the Hingham Journal, as well as through various social media-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and sees his strength in communication as an asset to the School Committee. His biggest challenge would be to learn his role as a School Committee member; he is not involved in any volunteer or committee work at this time.
• Dight Crain has been a Hingham resident for 2-3/4 years and lives at Linden Ponds. While living in Natick he served as a School Committee member for 18 years and has a long history of Civic involvement and considerable volunteer experience in the United Methodist Church. Mr. Crain is a member of the Electronic Voting Study Committee and serves as an Election Poll Worker. He is familiar with the role of a School Committee member and stated he can bring a wealth of experience for a short-term opening. His goal in volunteering is to provide the best possible education for Hingham students within the financial means of the community. He does not plan to be a candidate in May 2015. Mr. Crain acknowledged achieving consensus is hard work and he can recognize when it’s not going to happen. As a School Committee member in Natick, his greatest accomplishment was the successful hiring of Administrators and the new Middle and High School. He feels the best way to share information is through technology.
Mr. Gannon arrived at 7:50 p.m.
Caryl Falvey lives in Hingham Shipyard with her husband and three children. She is currently a Trustee at Hingham Public Library and has been involved with Hingham Public Schools for several years. She ran two successful campaigns for School Committee and served on several subcommittees. She cares about the children of Hingham and feels this is the best way to serve the town. Along with the six years of experience on the School Committee, Ms. Falvey has experience working with various Boards, appointed and elected throughout the Town. She feels unfunded mandates and concern with the PARCC assessment are the most challenging issues at this time. She values working as a team and respects others opinions stating we are here to serve the public and not our own interests; the Board can accomplish great things by working together. She has not made a decision as to her plans after this term; however she can jump in now and hit the ground running. If chosen, Ms. Falvey would request to work on long range planning, community outreach and policy. She feels the Hingham Journal is a great source of communication from sports to the arts and stated technology should be incorporated in as much of school life as possible.
At the conclusion of the interviews, the SC retired to the audience while the BOS addressed a couple of pre-scheduled hearings.
At 8:30 pm, Reconvened Joint session with School Committee
School Committee members and Selectmen acknowledged all the candidates and expressed that each had knowledge and unique skills that would be beneficial to the Board.
SC and BOS members present discussed the attributes each was looking for in a candidate and reviewed their thoughts about individual candidates.
Voted – Mr. Healey made a motion to appoint Caryl Falvey to the unexpired term of Paul Gannon (recently
elected to the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Hingham). A roll call vote was taken of the nine members of the combined group present:
Ms. Falvey – Caryl Falvey
Mr. Estes – Caryl Falvey
Mr. Healey – Caryl Falvey
Ms. Lauter – Caryl Falvey
Mr. Friedman – Caryl Falvey
Mr. Shafter – Caryl Falvey
Ms. O’Reilly – Caryl Falvey
Dr. Schreier – Caryl Falvey
Mr. Gannon – Caryl Falvey
At 8:58 p.m., Mr. Estes made a motion to adjourn the School Committee meeting. A unanimous vote.
The Board of Selectmen and the School Committee wished Mr. Healey a Happy Birthday!
Sharon Perfetti, BOS
Ed Schreier, SC