EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

November 5, 2013

Newcomers Beshara, Sweet, Deeb win seats

Fawcett, Kumm, Vogler re-elected

METHUEN — The School Committee will have another new majority in January as three newcomers won election while all three incumbents were retained.

Richard Beshara, a former principal, Bryan Sweet, an administrator at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dennis “D.J.” Deeb, a teacher, won half of the six seats on the committee. The three incumbents, Mary Jean Fawcett, Lynne Hajjar Kumm and Robert Vogler, will return for another term.

“I’m very happy voters saw the value of parents’ perspectives,” said Kumm, who won a second term. “I’m very happy to be rewarded with a new term.”

Sweet said he wanted to revive the consolidation committee, which is made of School Committee members and City Councilors and is reviewing places to consolidate city and school functions to save money. That committee’s work stalled this spring when former School Committee member Mark Graziano, a school business manager, resigned from the School Committee because he moved to Salem, N.H.

“There are areas where we can make sensible consolidations in the budget,” Sweet said, and the saved money saved can be used for enrichment programs.

Deeb, a former Dracut School Committee member who moved to Methuen two years ago, said he wanted the School Department to create a capital improvement plan. “We don’t have that yet. And if something happens, we have to go back and ask taxpayers for money,” he said.

Beshara, who retired in June as principal of Marsh Grammar School, said the committee will need to keep working to improve MCAS scores throughout the district and boost literacy especially among the youngest students. “Why aren’t our students achieving benchmark (in reading) and what is causing that? We need to do a lot of analyzing,” he said.

Vogler, a longtime committee member who was appointed in May to finish Graziano’s term, said the school district is moving forward and seeing substantial gains in MCAS scores.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act'
Photos of the Week