KESD Board Facing Vacancies

Students, staff and board members gather via Zoom for a Kingdom East School District board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

There are no races for the Kingdom East School Board this year, and in some instances there aren’t even any candidates.

The KESD board will face two vacancies following Town Meeting Day next month when 7 members of the 15-person board are up for election.

There will be a vacant 2-year seat from Newark and a vacant 1-year seat from Sutton, reported current board chair Cynthia Stuart from Concord, who is also running for re-election to a 3-year term.

Stuart said there is a process to fill vacancies after town meeting in which the sitting board is the appointing authority.

“The [KESD] Board and administration work closely with the town select board and community to fill open seats,” said Stuart. “We encourage anyone who is interested in serving on the KESD Board, who resides in a town with an open seat, to reach out to Superintendent Botzojorns who will then bring forward the person to the Board for consideration.”

The vacancy in the Newark seat is being created by the departure of interim board member Lila Leonard who had filled the seat of Kasey Talbot.

The vacancy in Sutton is because no one is running for the seat previously held by Clare Irwin who resigned due to a move out of state.

While there will be 2 vacancies, there will be a couple of other new faces with current members stepping aside. Amanda Chapman is the sole candidate to replace current member Nancy Blankenship who is not running for a 3-year Lyndon seat.

Korey Cantin is the sole candidate to replace current member Harry Williams for a 3-year Lunenburg seat.

Karianne Scott is the sole candidate to replace current member Leah Rexford for a 3-year Wheelock seat.

Cynthia Stuart is running to keep her 3-year Concord seat and Jacob Simpson is running to keep his 3-year Sutton seat.

While a candidate must reside in the town for which a board seat is assigned, all KESD voters vote on all the candidates across the entire district.

Besides electing officers voters are being asked to approve a budget of $35,568,494, which reflects a 3.41% increase in spending per equalized pupil.

While the proposed budget is up this year, Lyndon and Lunenburg are facing a potential outsized tax rate increase because of certain parameters in the tax rate calculation formula.

In addition, voters are asked to establish a technology reserve fund seeded by the sale of outdated computers, and a tax stabilization fund, and to distribute any potential surplus between the tax stabilization and a facilities reserve fund.

All 8 towns in the district - Burke, Concord, Lunenburg, Lyndon, Newark, Sheffield, Sutton and Wheelock - will conduct their school business via Australian ballot on Tuesday, March 2. Voting begins in all towns at 10 a.m. except for Burke and Sutton, which begin at 8 a.m. Voting closes in all towns at 7 p.m.

An information meeting will be held for the school district via Zoom at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 1. Details for the login are available on KESD website.

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