NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 9, 2014

Impressive longevity in the School Committee

Following my article a couple of months ago about the service of the City Council, someone told me I should write a similar article about the School Committee.

Prior to a Charter change in 1920, there were 12 members of the School Committee, two elected from each of the city’s six wards. Beginning in 1920, the committee has had six members, all elected city-wide, with the mayor serving as the chairperson. The members are presently elected to staggered four-year terms. The members annually elect a vice chairperson to serve in the absence of the mayor.

Bradley C. Fuller served on the School Committee for a total of 46 years. For 40 of those years, he was chosen by his peers to be vice chairman. Mr. Fuller served the city as an elected official longer than any other person.

Norman Doyle served for 40 consecutive years beginning in 1954.

Deron Gulazian served for 32 consecutive years. He first served in 1948.

Joseph Stanwood served on the committee for a total of 31 years. Unlike Mr. Doyle and Mr. Gulazian, his years were not consecutive. He first served in 1956.

The longest serving woman on the School Committee was Dale Lucy Batcheller, who served 12 years starting in 1984.

Through the years, very few persons have served on both the School Committee and the City Council. Warren Currier served a total of 22 years between the 1920s through the early 1950s, 10 years as a councilor and 12 years as a School Committee member. He never served on both boards simultaneously.

Bert Reed in 2000 and 2001 is the only person I found who served both on the City Council and the School Committee at the same time.

Since the 1920 Charter change, Mary Anne Clancy is the only mayor of the city elected who had served on the School Committee. She was elected mayor for 2004-05 following eight years on the School Committee.

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