Wood Plans ‘Most Aggressive’ School Campaign, Names Manager

With a competitive Haverhill School Committee race shaping up, committee President Scott W. Wood Jr. said Wednesday he would run his “most aggressive” campaign.

Wood, who was first elected in 2003, formally launched his re-election effort Wednesday and named election veteran James Tarr as his campaign manager. He said he has helped turn around the school district.

“When I first took office, Haverhill’s public schools were in crisis. Schools were closing, teachers were being let go, programs were being cut and fees going up. Today, I can say with confidence that we’ve turned it around. We’ve held the line on spending and are focusing our resources on students exactly where they belong. I am proud to say we haven’t let any staff go due to budget reasons in four years, we’ve restored academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs that had been cut, our technology infrastructure has improved dramatically, and we’ve introduced many new programs at Haverhill High School,” Wood said.

Campaign Manager James Tarr.

Campaign Manager James Tarr.

Tarr’s resume includes working for candidates for school committee, city council, state representative, state senate, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Florida. “Jim helped run my last campaign. He is one of the most innovative young minds I know in the campaign world. I’m looking forward to working closely with him over the next 6 months,” Wood said.

“We have also cut user fees, our high school is fully accredited, four of our schools have improved to Level 1 the highest in the state, graduation rates are up and dropout rates are down, and I’m deeply gratified by supporting and helping pass a new Hunking School without increasing the tax burden on the people of Haverhill.” Said Wood.

Despite the progress, Wood said there are challenges ahead. “To continue this progress we must keep holding all staff accountable, we must be prudent with how every dollar is spent and we must negotiate contracts with unions that are fair and fiscally sound. For these things to be done we need strong, experienced leadership.”

The school committee race became competitive with two-term Committeewoman Susan D. Danehy announcing Friday she is not running for re-election and the entrance of 2103 close contender Gail M. Sullivan, former City Councilor Sven A. Amirian and newcomer Michael Shurman. Committeeman Shaun P. Toohey is also seeking re-election.

Half of the school committee’s six seats are up for election every two years.

9 thoughts on “Wood Plans ‘Most Aggressive’ School Campaign, Names Manager

  1. Im with Scott in this election. He has always answered my calls and questions in a prompt manner. I think he is a good school committee member. I am not impressed with the challengers. Both wanna increase taxes. Sullivan is a former educator looking to give raises to friends, and doesn’t have a great track record in her jobs, check out what they think of her in Maine. Amerian quit the council, than got forced out at the chamber. He doesn’t send his kids to public schools which begs the question, why does he care? The answer is simple, he needs health benefits. With all his business failures, BK issues, why wouldn’t the taxpayers put him in charge of their money. Sorry Mr.Amerian. Daddy cant save you this time.

  2. What is the school committee going to do about the spiraling special ed costs that have been breaking the budget ? No mention of that yet. Duncan is correct…..to say that the Hunking project didn’t raise taxes is a lie using a deception of words. Many people could have used that reduction in taxes.

  3. Care to put your money where your mouth is and state why?


    Haverhill is a joke in bond market circles, no fiduciary in a normal course of risk management would allow for deficit financing, Massachusetts not withstanding of course. Your entire decision making process is betting “on the come” that will make it extremely untenable to pay in the future, and that’s with nothing going wrong. That is not sound risk management, but since pols in Massachusetts think the endless Taxpayer Trough will always be there out bail them out, then there’s nothing to see here right?

    If your comment is in regard to Niki Tsongas, having first hand experience of her untruthfulness (insider trading voice vote), ok lying, and buying into and voting for a law that she didn’t read (ACA) that only helped insurance companies with 700% returns, not helping The People, please make your point. Or do you not have a point, just ad hominems?


  4. “I’m deeply gratified by supporting and helping pass a new Hunking School without increasing the tax burden on the people of Haverhill.” Said Wood.”

    Talk about spin, manipulation and NOT being forthcoming on what the Hunking issue means to taxpayers!!!!
    EVERY homeowner in Haverhill would have had their taxes go DOWN by $1,500.00 because of expiring bonds had Hunking not been passed.

    That kind intentional misrepresentation of what happened is as sleazy as it gets.

  5. Scott Wood and his fellow school committee members just approved a 30% raise themselves and school administrators and a 0% raise for the hardworking teachers. He will not get my vote.

  6. “I’m deeply gratified by supporting and helping pass a new Hunking School without increasing the tax burden on the people of Haverhill.” Said Wood.” –

    DEFICIT SPENDING bonds like Haverhill’s are an unforeseen TAX on FUTURE productivity. The burden is here to stay until math implodes it all.

    “Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Florida.” –

    Great, so he assisted a President who is not only a deceiver and liar, but pperpetrated the largest nominal tax upon The People in United States history. Not to be outdone, assisted a CONgress Member who doesn’t even read the Bills she votes on. Brilliant.

  7. He needs to speak to the people moving into town for lower cost housing with ?Train Access? to Boston. If they have children a huge number are sending their children elsewhere because of the poor reputation of the Haverhill school system.