EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 26, 2013

Three run for Salem School Board seats

By Doug Ireland

---- — SALEM — Peter Morgan and Patricia Corbett are seeking re-election to three-year School Board terms to help the district complete its school renovations.

The two incumbents face a challenge from former state Rep. John Manning Jr. The election is March 12.

Morgan and Corbett have said they would like to return to the board as the district works to renovate its aging school buildings.

Morgan has been on the board for 12 years; Corbett is seeking her third three-year term.

Manning served in the House of Representatives for four years and is a Zoning Board of Adjustment alternate. He is also running for a three-year seat on the zoning board.

Morgan and Corbett are on a five-member School Board that strongly supports the renovation of all six elementary schools, Woodbury School and Salem High School.

Voters will be asked in March to spend up to $17 million to upgrade the Fisk, Soule and Haigh schools. The district recently renovated the Barron, Lancaster and North Salem schools.

Manning said the proposed establishment of a multi-million-dollar casino at Rockingham Park would provide Salem with the revenue needed to fund the school renovations.

Morgan was the only one of the three to participate in the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce candidates forum Feb. 21.

He pushed for the school renovations and plans to upgrade security in wake of the shootings in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“It will make the students safer and make the buildings more safer and secure,” Morgan said.

But he also emphasized the district needs to be careful in how it spends its money while improving education and infrastructure.

“Cost is a concern,” he said. “We need to spend what makes sense, but not more than what makes sense.”

Morgan declined to comment when asked if he supported a casino.

“I don’t think that is a question that is very germane to my responsibilities on the School Board,” he said.

Where they stand:

Patricia Corbett

Age: 46

Occupation: Great Bay Community College professor

Incumbent: Yes

Elective experience: School Board

What do you plan to do if elected: Continue to address infrastructure needs and new curricula initiatives while providing an education that is in the best interest of our children, community and the taxpayer.

John Manning Jr.

Age: 60

Occupation: Restaurant owner, horse trainer

Incumbent: No

Elective experience: State representative

What do you plan to do if elected: Support our schools and better education. We must improve SAT scores, bring in a truant officer, and have in-school detention to keep children in school.

Peter Morgan

Age: 65

Occupation: Retired engineer

Incumbent: Yes

Elective experience: School Board

What do you plan to do if elected: I will work with the board to maintain and raise academic standards, move forward with our master plan, and establish expendable trust accounts for maintenance.