In a joint meeting the Board of Selectmen and School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Becky Padera to the School Committee seat vacated by Denis Keohane. Mr. Keohane resigned from the committee when he was elected to the Board of Selectmen. It is difficult to know who to congratulate first, Ms. Padera on her appointment, or the School Committee for managing to whittle down a field of 11 to a single recommendation for the Board of Selectmen.
The School Committee met at 7:00 and deliberated for an hour in advance of the Selectmen arriving. At Mr. Walker’s suggestion the committee came prepared with the candidates ranked in their order of preference. The committee began with a discussion of the qualifications and characteristics they were looking for in the individual that would fill the seat. Their was solid but not completely unanimous consensus that the person would have relevant experience either be it professional (finance, teaching), volunteer (PTO’s, coaching) or related community work (warrant committee, other board experience). The argument being that the individual “should hit the ground running.” There was also a shared feeling that the individual would need to look after interests of students in all programs and grades and have a collaborative approach. Ms. Kelly felt that budget experience was a priority given the extensive amount of time and effort spent on school finances.
Mr. Pavlicek polled the group and two candidates were chosen by at least 4 of the committee members; Becky Padera and Charles Karimbakas. (Ms. Kelly did not have Padera on her list and Mr. Walker did not have Karimbakas). After some back and forth on process the committee decided to narrow any further discussion to these two individuals. In the end Padera was chosen. Most committee members cited her deeper experience with the schools and her experience as a guidance counselor as factors that tipped it slightly in her favor. All agreed that these were two solid choices.
They voted unanimously to recommend Padera. The Selectmen joined them at the table and a roll vote was taken with the Selectmen voting with the School Committee in support of the recommendation.