AMESBURY — An English teacher, a substitute teacher, a global field service manager and a local contractor are all vying for an appointment to the School Committee tonight.

Former member Tim Kisieleski was elected District 5 city councilor last fall, and a joint meeting of the City Council and School Committee is expected to fill his seat at 7 p.m.

The person appointed to fill the seat would serve until January 2022.

Moody Street resident Dave Haraske ran unsuccessfully for the committee in November, earning 1,231 votes along the way. Haraske submitted an application to be appointed to the committee.

Haraske is the father of a fourth-grade student at Cashman Elementary School and has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals since 2014. He is a local contractor.

“If we are able to reduce the number of students leaving the district, this is a must,” Haraske wrote. “With our aging demographics, it is essential that we keep every possible student and encourage new families to move into our town. The School Committee will be absolutely central to that success.”

Riverfront Drive resident Elaine Bucher works as an English teacher at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, where she also as serves as an early college liaison.

Bucher wrote in her application that she has three daughters who attended school in the district and is “passionate” about providing all students with the best education possible.

“As a teacher, I have spent countless hours designing curricula and studying how to become a better teacher,” Bucher wrote. “As a School Committee member, I will do the same.”

Spindle Tree Lane resident Peter Frey manages a global field service department for a life science research device company and has a 2-year-old who will attend district schools.

Frey wrote on his application that he has been following the progress of the new elementary school project and would like to become more involved in the district.

“There is definitely still significant work to be done in the implementation of the new school and important decisions to be made about allocating funding efficiently to keep Amesbury’s other schools in good condition for our students,” Frey wrote. “I also understand the importance of citizen involvement in the important work of running our town.”

Warren Avenue resident Dale Massey works as a substitute teacher in the district and is the parent of a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old.

Massey cited a high attrition rate as a source of concern for the committee.

“The poor attrition rate from the eighth to ninth grade is something I understand well,” Massey wrote. “If we are able to have a thriving high school in Amesbury, we must engage our middle schoolers. As a School Committee member, I will tirelessly advocate for that group.”

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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