Local Government and Politics, News

New faces reshape the Saugus School Committee

Elizabeth Marchese, Saugus School Committee, Debra Panetta, chair of Saugus borad of selectman, and Linda Gaieski, Saugus school committee, on election night. (Owen O'Rourke)

SAUGUS — As newly reelected School Committee member Elizabeth Marchese embraced one of two new members of the board, she told her she could do anything.

“I’m so excited about this new team,” said Marchese. “Jeannie and Linda have a proven track record already, which is shown in the numbers. Marc brings business and budget experience that is much needed, and Lisa brings a passion and insight into the ongoings on the inside of schools. All five of us have strengths that complement each other.”

Lisa Morgante and Marc Magliozzi will join incumbents Jeannie Meredith, Marchese, and Linda Gaieski as the School Department plans its transformation into a three-school district with a new middle-high school building and an upper and lower elementary school.

“I’m battling breast cancer right now — anyone who knows me, knows I’m a fighter,” said Morgante. “I just want to make things better, I want to work together with the School Committee as a team. I’m very passionate about everything I do.”

In addition to her own battle with cancer, Morgante said her teenage daughter, Tyla, is a survivor who has been cancer free for a year-and-a-half.

Magliozzi, a soccer, hockey, and baseball coach, said his three children were the driving force for him to get involved with local government. As a coach, he heard concerns from parents and wanted to be a voice for them. His priority moving forward will be establishing school- and class-size equity.

“I love this new team,” said Meredith. “I feel 100 percent confident this team will bring our district into the 21st century learning style to finally close those academic achievement gaps. This is a team that will make a dream come true for Saugus students.”

According to the unofficial results released by Town Clerk Ellen Schena, Meredith secured 2,249 votes, followed by Marchese with 2,152, Gaieski with 2,123, Magliozzi with 1,917, and Morgante with 1,816.

Arthur Grabowski, who has been on the committee for the past eight years, was not reelected. He finished with 1,440 votes, followed by Pond with 1,342 votes.

All five members of the Board of Selectmen, dubbed the fabulous five, were reelected. The nickname was given to the group during a debate last month by challenger Michael Coller, but the five members decided to embrace it.

“We each have five very different perspectives that, for some reason, mesh really well,” said Jennifer D’Eon, who finished with the third highest number of votes. “Even if we do disagree, and we do, we usually talk it out and hear each other out before making a decision.”

Debra Panetta finished first with 2,309 votes, followed by Jeff Cicolini with 2,050, D’Eon with 1,932, Scott Brazis with 1,899, and Mark Mitchell with 1,661.

Challenger Corinne Riley trailed Mitchell with 1,645 votes. Michael Serino finished with 1,605. Michael Coller secured 993 votes and Assunta Palomba got 982.

William Stewart was elected to the Housing Authority with 2,092 votes.

Joyce Rodenhiser, Susan Dunn, Ronald Witten, Ann Devlin, and Christopher Jones were elected to Town Meeting in Precinct 1.

Robert Camuso, Christine Moreschi, Stephen Sweezey, Thomas Falasca, and Peter Rossetti were elected to serve in Precinct 2.

Stephen Murphy, Philip Rando, William Stewart, Arthur Connors, and Richard Thompson will represent Precinct 3.

Albert DiNardo, Maureen Whitcomb, Stephen Doherty, William Leuci, and Patricia McLaughlin won in Precinct 4.

Laura Groark, Pamela Goodwin, Brenton Spencer, Ronald Wallace, and Karli Brazis were elected in Precinct 5; Matthew Canterbury, William Marchand, Jean Bartolo, Kevin Currie, and William Brown in Precinct 6; Patricia Prizio, Michael Paolini, Stephen McCarthy, Kimberly Politano and Richard Lavoie in Precinct 7.

In Precinct 8, Thomas Traverse, Joan Fowler, Joia Cicolini, Stephen Horlick, and Anthony Lopresti won; In Precinct 9, John Cottam, Paul Sullivan, Judith Worthley, and Daniel Kelly; and in Precinct 10, Steven Divirgilio, John Coburn, Martin Costello, Tanya Digirolamo, and Michael Serino were elected.

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