EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 8, 2013

School Committee member Graziano resigns

He's moving to Salem, NH; board will appoint acting member

METHUEN — First-term School Committee member Mark Graziano resigned his seat yesterday as he and his family prepare to move to a new house in Salem, N.H.

Graziano, a native of Methuen and the third-highest vote getter out of eight candidates in the 2011 municipal election, brought school administration and finance experience to the committee from, most recently, his job as director of finance and operations at The Pike School in Andover.

School and city officials are reviewing the city charter to determine how an acting member will be appointed to serve out the remainder of Graziano’s term.

“After the (teachers contract) vote (Monday) night, and after the next week or so when we will be officially moved in and moving all the paperwork, it was the right time,” Graziano said.

His fellow members said the committee will miss his experience. “Mark brought a lot to the table. He has a great background in finance and education,” said committee Vice Chairman Evan Chaisson.

Superintendent Judith Scannell credited him with helping the School Department and the city negotiate a written list of charges for services, which had been a bone of contention during the last few budget seasons.

“I am sorry to see School Committee member Mark Graziano leave,” she said. “His experience working with the city of Methuen was instrumental as we negotiated a formal charge back agreement relative to city expenses incurred on behalf of the School Department. His knowledge of school operations will be hard to replace. He was all about the students and staff of Methuen Public Schools.”

Graziano also was “a major resource” on a subcommittee reviewing ways to consolidate some school and city operations, such as purchasing and legal counsel, said committee member Lynne Hajjar Kumm.

Kumm said she will suspend meetings of the group until after the election in November, and restart next year with new members.

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