BOE bids farewell to departing members

NASHUA – Monday night’s Board of Education meeting kicked off with a special send off for the Board members who will not be returning.

Nashua Superintendent Jahmal Mosley thanked Robert Hallowell, Sandra Ziehm, George Farrington and David Murotake for their years of service and gave each departing member a commemorative plaque with personalized well wishes.

Farrington, board president, has served three terms, the first two in the 1990s. He has been a staunch advocate for getting children on grade level in reading and math by third grade, and believes this is key to their futures. It was a key part of his platform in the recent election.

Ziehm, the longest serving member of the Board, has often called Nashua her adoptive home, her goal in her work as a member of the BOE has always been “to give back to a nation that gave her the opportunities that have blessed her life” according to the school district website. Ziehm was recognized Monday night for her dedication and willingness to listen to student opinions.

Murotake has been on the board since 2010, and “his goals focus on strengthening K-12 education reform in curriculum, instruction, assessment, instructional technology and the Common Core State Standards,” according to the district.

He was recognized for his commitment to technology in the schools and for being the main champion of the implementation of ROTC in the high schools.

Hallowell was elected to the board in 2007, and still had two years left on his term, but announced his resignation in November, citing “frustrations” with administration. One of his primary goals had been to “use data to evaluate and learn from the successes and failures of educational programs,” the website said.

He said in his resignation that he was proud of much of his work, but was particularly proud of the donorschoose

campaign he spearheaded, which allows teachers to source funding for various classroom projects.

The four members’ terms will end Dec. 31, and they will be replaced by Gloria Timmons, Heather Raymond and Raymond Guarino. Dotty Oden, incumbent, will return.

During the public comment period, Adam Marcoux, president of the Nashua Teachers Union also thanked the

members for their service to the district.

“We haven’t always agreed on everything,” he said, but “I think we were able to find a way to agree to disagree in a way

that allowed us to keep moving forward.”

Each of the board members took a moment to thank those who were leaving, at times getting emotional.

Oden said that she knew without question that while they may not have always seen eye to eye, that every member always had the students at heart.

Elizabeth Van Twuyver took a moment to individually thank each person and mention some of the ways in which they impacted her life.

“When I call this meeting to order in January, it’s going to be hard not to see these four faces in front of me,” she said as she concluded.

William Mosher, who was attending the meeting via conference call, said he would miss all his friends, and that they should all be proud of their accomplishments.

The Board members also all expressed thanks to Grace Tomasetti and Cameron McIntire, the student representatives from Nashua High School North and Nashua High School South, respectively. Their terms also are set to expire. Their input, the Board agreed unanimously, has been invaluable.

Before moving into a non-public session, Farrington issued some words of advice to the incoming board, which he said he used to give to his

students when he was an instructor pilot in the U.S. Air Force: “Have a good time, be careful, don’t do anything stupid and bring the airplane back in one piece.”

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@nashuatelegraph.com.