With three seats to fill, the town of East Greenwich voted back in the current chairperson, while also inviting two new faces to join the East Greenwich School Committee.
Five candidates campaigned with newcomer Democrat Carolyn Mark just edging Democrat and current Chairperson Deidre S. Gifford for the highest number of votes Tuesday night.
The third highest count went to another newcomer Republican Clark R. Smith.
Newcomers Independent Domenic Marcone and Eugene P. Quinn were unsuccessful in their bids for seats on the committee.
For both Mark and Smith this will be their first time in public office. This will be Gifford’s second four-year term on the school committee.
Mark said upon learning the results, “I have a lot to learn from my fellow school committee members, I am not going to go into this with any presumptions about what should be first on this list,” as far as what needs to be done.
With that said, she added that she is “very interested” in the implementation of the new teacher evaluation system. She wants to look at any “barriers to continued implementation” and how they can be addressed.
“I ran because I believe we have fabulous schools,” Mark said. “There is always opportunity for improvement,” however, and she said she is looking forward to working on those areas.
Of the new team forming on the school committee Mark said, “My sense is that the current school committee has been a very collegiate environment, “ even if they don’t always agree. She thinks they are “out of the woods as far as some of the contentious relationships that have existed in the past.”
“I look forward very much to working with the people on the school committee and those elected beside me,” she said. She thinks with a school committee “you will have a group of people where everyone is there for the right reasons.”
Mark said when asked if there would be any new member training moving forward, “I sure hope so.” She said that what steps are next, including when she will be sworn in, were going to be at the top of her questions to ask on Wednesday morning.
She said she had “terrific support” from her family and friends and wanted to thank them “for putting up with this fall.”
The Pendulum was not able to reach either Gifford or Clark on Tuesday night, however, before the election, Gifford said, “This is a critical time for public education,” noting that they had done well, but had more work to do to provide “the best education possible for our kids.”
Clark looked forward to evaluating the use of technology in the schools as well as preparing students for a “technical and global workplace environment.”
The East Greenwich School Committee’s next scheduled meeting is this Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the library at Cole Middle School, 100 Cedar Ave.