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Last September, the Regional School District 13 Board of Education voted to allow community members to participate as non-voting members on most of its subcommittees. Several people have since been appointed, but there’s room for more.
Board member Bob Yamartino said there are still spots left for people to get involved, and as the board prepares for a new school year, it’s the perfect time to sign on.
“I think we have some room to have more participation from town and I think it's a good opportunity,” Yamartino said.
For the BOE, it means a little less of a burden of work on an already stretched-thin board, as well as opportunities to more actively hear from people with different views and expertise.
“I really welcome viewpoints, different viewpoints, I don't want everyone to be exactly like me ... and I want them to have a say in how it goes,” Yamartino said.
Board chairman Bob Moore said he has appointed about 10 people to serve on committees so far.
“I think it's helpful on the subcommittees,” Moore said. “It brings different parts of view to some of these committees.”
John Giammatteo, of Middlefield, approached the board with interest in joining the utilization committee and was appointed this past winter, he said. Since, he’s gone to the few meetings held recently and joined the building committee as well.
“I was generally interested in getting involved and helping but didn’t want to try to commit to a full workload of a board member,” he said.
Giammatteo said he’s felt welcomed on the committees, respected and listened to.
He said being a member of the committee, despite non-voting, is still a different interaction than if he just showed up to a meeting and spoke during public comment and it allows him to learn more about the decisions being made in the district, which are especially important to him as a parent.
“I think community involvement is always good,” Giammatteo said. “Controlled, reasonable voices, and encouraging discussion and debate with reasonable people can only help everything.”
The board’s bylaws allow for two community members to join each committee, except human resources, with the intent, but not requirement, that there will be representatives from each of the district’s two towns in those spots.
The applicable committees include student achievement, finance, utilization, educational resources and well-being.
If interested in joining a committee, contact Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional School District 13 serves Durham and Middlefield.