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Board of Education Member Resigns, Vacancy Announced

By on Mar 18 2014.
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Springfield Public Schools

Springfield Public Schools

Springfield Public Schools issued a public announcement this morning noting a vacancy on the Board of Education and soliciting “letters of interest” from Springfield residents who would like to be considered to be appointed as the newest member.  The notice, e-mailed out on the public schools distribution lists, surprised many in the community because it was not announced why there was a vacancy and it was not clear who resigned.

An exclusive source told Springfielder.com that the vacancy is caused by the resignation of Board member Steven M. Friedman, who was elected in April 2011.  In 2011, Friedman appeared on the same ballot as former Board of Education President and current member Steven Wolcott and Scott Samansky.  Friedman’s three-year term would have concluded at the end of 2014 as a result of the change to Board of Education election dates in Springfield.  However, it appears he will not serve out the entirety of his term and the Board of Education has explained they anticipate appointing the replacement no later than the meeting of May 5, 2014.

Steven M. Friedman (Credit: LinkedIn)

Steven M. Friedman (Credit: LinkedIn)

Friedman has not issued a public statement and the matter was not explicitly listed on the agenda for the Board of Education meeting held last night, Monday, March 17th.  The agenda did indicate items would be discussed in closed session but it’s not clear whether a the resignation of a Board of Education member qualifies for closed session.  Someone close to Friedman suggested that his starting a new job may be a possible reason for his departure from the Board.  According to his LinkedIn profile, Friedman began working for Northwestern Mutual in November 2013 and has switched jobs multiple times since his election to the Board of Education.

The announcement explains, “Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years of age, be able to read and write, have been a resident in Springfield for two years and have no interest in any contract with or claim against the Board.”  Letters of interest are due to the Board Secretary’s Office by 4 p.m. on April 2, 2014 and should include an explanation in 50 words or less “Why you wish to be a Board member”.  The process is a very transparent process according to Board policy: “Interviews with interested candidates will be conducted in public by the Board acting as a committee of the whole. All nominating and voting procedures shall be done at a regular or special meeting of the Board, the meeting having been advertised as to its purpose. All nominating and voting is done in open public session and there shall be an open record of procedure and result.”

The last resignation from the Board of Education was in 2009 by former Board member Dan Circelli.  Steve Wolcott was selected on December 7, 2009 and served out the remaining four months beginning January 11, 2010.



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