AUBURN — Unhappy with the direction members of the School Committee were taking the district, a large number of parents banded together and helped unseat Chairwoman Bonnie Hayes on Tuesday.

Pamela Hart Submitted

Ward 2 challenger Pamela Hart defeated Hayes, 702-280. Hayes had served eight terms on the committee.

At-large incumbent Patricia Gautier also narrowly lost her seat in a three-way race for two seats against at-large incumbent Faith Fontaine and newcomer David Simpson. Fontaine received 1,853 votes, Simpson 1,852 and Gautier 1,773.

And incumbent Robert Mennealy in Ward 1 dropped a close race to Rose Walker, 339-308.

The parents’ group fell short in ousting other incumbents, who hung onto their seats by less than 100 votes.

In Ward 4, Brian Belknap retained his seat in a race against Olga Dolgicer, 301-218

In Ward 5, Daniel Poisson kept his seat in a race against Victoria Langelier, 395-305.

Meanwhile, Karen Mathieu in Ward 3 who was appointed to complete the term of Thomas Kendall, who died in September, ran unopposed.

The parent group was upset with the lack of an annual evaluation on Superintendent Katy Grondin for the past three years and what originally appeared to be a fast-track rehiring of Grondin with a new contract in September. The process has since slowed due to the parents’ input.


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