UPDATED again on June 7.
FRAMINGHAM – Four of the current 9-member Framingham School Committee members will not seek re-election.
Instead, all four want to be City Councilors for the City of Framingham.
District 2 School Committee member Ricky Finlay, District 5 School Committee member Noval Alexander and District 9 School Committee member Tracey Bryant have all pulled papers to run for City Council.
UPDATE: And on June 7, District 8 School Committee member Gloria Pascual pulled papers to run as an at-large City Councilor.
That means more than one-third of the School Committee could change.
Seven of the current 11-member City Councilors announced they would not seek re-election in 2019.
At-large City Councilor George P. King jr., District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner, District 4 City Councilor Mike Cannon, and District 7 City Councilor Margareth Shepard will seek re-election. All have pulled nomination papers.
District 1 School Committee member Beverly Hugo, District 3 School Committee member Scott Wadland, District 4 School Committee member Adam Freudberg, District 6 School Committee member Geoffrey Epstein, and District 7 School Committee member Tiffanie Maskell will all seek re-election.
District 8 School Committee member Gloria Pascual, as of May 9, had not announced her plans and had not pulled papers.
But Natick teacher and Framingham mom Jessica Barnhill has pulled papers for the District 8 seat. And there is a good chance that former candidate Leslie Harvey will pull papers to run for the seat too. She lost to Pascual in 2017.
District 3 School Committee member Wadland also already has a challenger.
Leslie Smart, a METCO coordinator in the Needham Public School system.
With District 9 School Committee member Tracey Bryant running for City Council, there is a good chance that Richard Baritz, a former Town Meeting member, who lost to Bryant will run for School Committee again.
Asked why she was running, Smart said “I have over 30 years in public education and am a product of public education (Boston Public Schools). Through this journey I have gained the insight and the ability to advocate for students and families. Also, in my work in supporting teachers in cultural proficiency training, I have developed an even greater tenacity to ensure students of public schools, receive the best, most accessible and equitable education, that we as a community can provide.”
Smart has lived in Framingham for 19 years, but has no children in the Framingham Public School district and no children who graduated from the district. Wadland has twin daughters at Framingham High School.
In District 2, Stapleton parent and Chair of the Framingham Disability Commission Karen Foran Dempsey has pulled paper for School Committee
In District 5, former mayoral candidate Priscila Sousa has pulled papers for School Committee.
Bryant said “I love my School Committee work, but I am now needed on the City Council, in the seat that incumbent Edgardo Torres is vacating.”
Bryant said “There is much work to be done! I will be supporting the great work that’s begun in the community and work to insure we provide a safe, clean environment in which all of us, particularly our children can thrive. Business is booming, education and culture can be found everywhere in the City, and Framingham is expanding in so many ways.”
“While we are continuing to grow and learn and improve, we need to safeguard civility, good values, good judgement, kindness, tolerance and respect. We need to grow together, making decisions together, where all voices are heard and everyone feels empowered: No one left out, no one left behind, no one overlooked,” said Bryant. “It is not only important what decisions are made, but how we make them. I hope to foster a spirit of cooperation and connection as we do the work of continuing to improve the quality of life in Framingham. From many voices, many ideas, and many differences, often come the best solutions. Yes, I am an impassioned idealist: I believe the best life is one in which we strive to make our ideals our reality.