Newry board to name school withdrawal committee

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NEWRY — Selectmen decided Tuesday night to convene an emergency meeting Tuesday, Oct. 14, to assemble a school withdrawal committee.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the Town Office.

On Sept. 24, Newry voters decided at the polls to continue the multistep withdrawal process from SAD 44. Other towns in the district are Bethel, Greenwood, Woodstock, and Andover.

Andover residents also voted Sept. 24 to leave the district, but the town will not be officially out until June 2015.

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Newry’s withdrawal process began after resident Jim Sysko circulated a petition, citing the large amount of money Newry pays to SAD 44 and the quality of education their students receive.

Newry selectmen must appoint a committee to create a withdrawal agreement. The committee must be comprised of one municipal officer, one member of the general public, one member of the petitioning group and one member of the SAD 44 Board of Directors, which represents Newry.

The choice for a selectman will be between Gary Wight and Brooks Morton, Wight said, because board Chairman Wendy Hanscom works for SAD 44 and choosing her could be construed as a conflict of interest.

Wight and Morton and town Administrator Loretta Powers discussed the matter at length. Hanscom was absent.

Morton suggested placing someone new to the issue on the committee rather than one of Newry’s current school board members.

“An inexperienced school board member might look at it with new eyes,” he said.

Prior to deciding to convene an emergency meeting, Wight asked Powers if they can hold a special meeting with interested people.

“So we can have some idea who wants to be involved so we’re not stabbing names out of a hat,” he said.

Morton said Sysko had contacted him and asked to be on the committee.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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