Candidates civil in Board of Education debate

Megan Doyle, Staff Writer

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The Board of Education had a debate on Oct. 15 at Town Hall in preparation for the upcoming election. Three candidates were on the stage: Michael Gordon, Paul Block, and Mark Matthews, all current members of the board. The debate was sponsored by The League of Women Voters, and the moderator was Jean Rabinow.

Questions were either emailed or written down and delivered to the women who would then read it to the candidates. Each candidate had a specific amount of time to answer the question.

There was a wide range of questions, from the mold issue at Kings Highway School to the current principal search at Staples.  

During the debate, there was an abundance of laughter. The candidates joked both with each other and the audience. Not much is at stake– all of these candidates will keep their jobs no matter what the votes are.

“Debate is good when the election is uncontested,” Michael Gordon said during the debate, resulting in laughter from everyone.

The current Board of Education has worked with each other for years, so the debate was merely a way to show where they are now.

“I did find tonight’s debate interesting. Not that I feel anything said was truly enlightening, but it helps to get a sense of where people might stand on certain issues and what their leanings are,” a Staples parent said.

The current Board of Education group gets along exceptionally well. Despite their few differences in political stance, they manage to continue and support each other as well as make important decisions. Jeanie Smith and Karen Klein, members of the Board of Education, were both in the audience. They were jovial when coming out of the room, and glowing with pride for each of the candidates.

“We were so impressed with how well they responded to the questions, and each brought a different element to the issue to really compliment one another,” Smith said.

The Board of Education is reaching an extremely important time; not only do they have to search for a principal, they also need to hire a superintendent. This hiring has not occurred in 17 years, but they are excited for what’s to come.

“I thought the way they responded to everything was a positive reflection on the strength of our current board in a very crucial time,” Smith said, as she giggled over the prospect of hiring a new superintendent.

The candidates also mentioned that the principal search will no longer be open to the public’s opinion.  

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