WEST NEWBURY — Andy Murphy is challenging incumbent Jill Eichhorst for a three-year seat on the Pentucket School Committee in the only contested race at the polls on Monday. The annual town election takes place in the Town Annex, 379 Main St., from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Eichhorst, 56, has served for nine years as a West Newbury representative to the regional school committee. An alumnus of Pentucket, she believes there is no better place for a public education. With the district on the cusp of achieving world-class status, the Maple Street resident and business office assistant for River Valley Charter School says she is proud of her record of accomplishment over her past three terms and her ability to engage parents and the community in the process. She supports the direction the district is heading and seeks a fourth term to continue working on what she’s started.
A Georgetown Road resident, Murphy, 53, is owner of the public relations and marketing agency Davies Murphy Group. He believes Pentucket faces a perception crisis within the community that has families choosing a private school option in unprecedented numbers. This type of student attrition is impacting Pentucket’s results on high-stakes testing and hurting the town’s real estate values, he says. Pentucket has outstanding teachers, but leadership from the school board is lacking. If elected, Murphy hopes to provide a strong voice for West Newbury parents and to use his talents as a communications professional to improve the board’s advocacy and communications responsibilities.
Other candidates on the ballot include: Board of Selectmen, Glenn A. Kemper; Board of Health, Robert P. Janes; water commissioners and Housing Authority, Lawrence Corcoran; Planning Board, John Sarkis; Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, Thomas J. Flaherty; town moderator, Kathleen “KC” Swallow; three seats on the Board of Library Trustees, Holly Cole, Amy Custance and Virginia J. Selman; and constable, Richard K. Davies Jr.
There is also an open seat for a term on the Board of Assessors.