School Committee is ‘Out of Touch,’ Says New Challenger

None of the existing School Committee members, from left, Shaun P. Toohey, Paul A. Magliocchetti or Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello, have yet taken out papers for the fall election. (WHAV News photograph.)

Saying the Haverhill School Committee is “out of touch” and needs “fresh blood,” a second newcomer has taken out nomination papers to run for a seat on the board.

Alicia Smolar, 2 Edwin St., took out papers from the Haverhill City Clerk’s office. Smolar describes herself as a stay-at-home mom with a daughter in fifth-grade at the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School. While she has long believed the School Committee needs, in her words, “fresh blood,” she made up her mind to run after observing members during the last board meeting.

“I would like to see more of, like, an involvement and engagement when someone is getting up there to speak, and talk about what they’re doing with passion rather than someone just gazing off.”

Smolar, a Mount Washington neighborhood resident, said she has served on Silver Hill’s Parent Teacher Organization and delivers a unique perspective.

“I am involved in some of the activities that occur at the school and very active, back and forth, with things that are going on at the school.”

Referring to what she perceived as a lack of member interest in the presentation about the high’s school’s Model United Nations program, she said, current School Committee members need to stay on top of current events. Smolar said she plans to make regular school visits if elected.

“Get in there, see what the concerns are for each individual school, see what their needs are, what they think is lacking.”

As previously reported by WHAV, the only other School Committee candidate to pick up nomination forms was Katrina Hobbs Everett, 41 S. Central St., who ran for City Council two years ago.

None of the existing School Committee members—Paul A. Magliocchetti, Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello and Shaun P. Toohey—have yet taken out papers for the fall election. Toohey is filling the unexpired term of Joseph J. Bevilacqua, who resigned from the School Committee last year after being elected to the City Council.

Four sitting city councilors recently picked up papers. They are Colin F. LePage, 5 Sunrise Drive; Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, 66 Webster St.; Bevilacqua, 46 Lambert Ave.; and William J. Macek, 227 Concord St. The only other incumbent to have done so was Michael S. McGonagle, 39 Newton Ave.

Other candidates for City Council are former member Kenneth E. Quimby Jr., 48 Goodale Ave.; Adele F. Martino, 41 Welcome St., who unsuccessfully sought election to state Senate last year; Michael J. Katsulis, 119 S. Elm St., who has appeared before councilors to voice concerns over Bradford traffic issues; and Fred Simmons, 420 Amesbury Road, who has also unsuccessfully sought a city council seat previously.

Nomination papers became available May 1. Candidates must submit 50 certified signatures by Aug. 1 to go on the ballot. Signatures are certified by the city Board of Registrars of Voters.

3 thoughts on “School Committee is ‘Out of Touch,’ Says New Challenger