, Newburyport, MA

November 6, 2013

Cole, Sweeney, Luekens win School Committee seats

By Greg Phipps

---- — NEWBURYPORT — Two incumbents were re-elected while one was unseated in the race for three Newburyport School Committee seats yesterday.

Committee member Steven Cole, a Newburyport native, was elected to another four-year term, earning the largest number of votes with 3,212. Current vice chairwoman Cheryl Sweeney, a retired teacher, was also chosen for a second term with 2,910 votes.

Incumbent Daniel Koen was edged out by challenger Michael Luekens for the third seat by a close 1,988-1,832 margin, a difference of just 156 votes.

Raymond Matthews finished fifth with 1,514 votes.

Focus on continuing to strive for quality education with the construction of the new Bresnahan School and the Nock-Molin renovation, while working toward achieving balanced budgets will be one of Cole’s main objectives over the next four years.

“It’s one thing to have new schools we can be proud of, but it’s also important to ensure the quality of learning that’s going on inside the schools,” he said after yesterday’s results were announced.

Sweeney thanked her supporters and also talked about some of her goals.

“I want to see a smooth transition into the new Bresnahan School while balancing the budget, getting special education funding under wraps and transitioning into the new Common Core (curriculum).”

Among his stated goals during his campaign, Luekens expressed the need to improve technological learning and special education, and to work to find creative ways to expand the curriculum.