The search for a new Regional School District 13 Board of Education member will continue for another month after none were named during Monday’s annual town meeting.
“If anyone comes forward, we surely would appreciate that,” First Selectman Edward Bailey said Monday.
Middlefield Board of Selectmen and Board of Education member Bob Yamartino said he and several others have spoken with multiple people about the opening, but the time commitment has ultimately been the determining factor.
“The Board of Education is extremely time consuming,” said Yamartino, who has been on the school board for about two years.
Yamartino said most board members sit on two or three of the board’s subcommittees — such as the utilization committee and the student achievement committee — which means attending around four meetings a month, sometimes each lasting multiple hours.
He said despite the time commitment, being on the board is “really rewarding, because there really is nothing more important, or a higher calling, than making sure we educate our children.”
The vacated term spans July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020. It became open when longtime board member Nancy Boyle stepped down at November’s regular board meeting.
“For me personally, at this stage in my life, it was time to step down … and give another person an opportunity to represent the town of Middlefield,” Boyle said Monday.
Boyle was on the board for 10-and-a-half years and served on a variety of subcommittees, including the Student Achievement, Personnel Policies and Utilization Committees. She also served as board treasurer.
At November’s meeting, fellow board member Norm Hicks read a prepared proclamation, recognizing Boyle’s years of dedication to the district.
“Her unwavering commitment to the support and success of educators and students alike will long be remembered as a guide for those that follow in future public service,” the proclamation read. “Nancy Boyle is a respected and admired leader having been a tireless volunteer whose intelligence, perseverance and friendship consistently elevated the work of the entire Board of Education.”
Boyle said she decided to step down because she no longer has children in the district and would like to see a parent with students currently enrolled have a chance to represent the parents’ perspective on the board. She also said since her son started playing for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, she just doesn’t have the time anymore.
“I loved it, I don't regret one day of it. I loved working with all the members on the board, who I was able to share time with, and I'm proud of the work I've done,” Boyle said.
She said while sitting on the board can be a big time commitment, chairman Bob Moore has helped streamline meetings and the board tries hard to be respectful of its volunteers’ time, scheduling multiple committees to meet in one night and choosing start times accessible to a working parent.
Boyle said she will continue to live and work locally, and will stay available to the board as a resource. She said she plans to be on the board’s ad hoc subcommittees when formed.
The Board of Selectmen will give notice of a town meeting to be held in 30 days for the purpose of electing a member to serve out the term. The Board of Selectmen were confident they would have at least one nomination by that time.
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