Betsy Strickler the newest member of Lee School Committee

The Lee School Committee and Select Board on Tuesday evening jointly chose Betsy Strickler, pictured, to succeed Christine Lucy, who resigned from the school board last month. Strickler will attend her first committee meeting in August.

LEE — The Lee School Committee is back to full strength — again.

On Tuesday evening, the committee jointly met with the Select Board and unanimously chose Betsy Strickler as the board's newest member.

She was the only candidate who applied to fill the vacancy created by Christine Lucy, who resigned last month, after six years on the seven-person panel. Strickler becomes the fourth new committee member in less than a year and looks forward to her new responsibility.

"I think it's important for adults to understand kids and how actions of the School Committee impact them long term," she told the joint gathering during a hybrid meeting.

Strickler is chief communications officer at Community Health Programs based in Pittsfield, but has an extensive background in education.

"I've held various positions in education ... from college counseling, high school and university admissions, financial aid and coach," she wrote in her letter of intent to town officials.

Strickler will serve until the May 2022 annual town election. She can decide before then if she wants to run for the final year of Lucy's three-year term.

Lucy stepped down in mid-June, after being appointed president of the Berkshire Hills Education Association, the teachers union in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District. She said her decision to leave was to avoid potential conflicts of interest or ethics issues.

The School Committee has lost four members since August, starting with Kelly Koperek, followed by Anna Wescott effective May 1. Nelson Daley Sr. was up for reelection in May, but he opted against seeking another three-year term.

Koperek was replaced by Randy Kinnas, who won the seat outright in the annual town election. Last month, the committee and Select Board chose Nicole Kosiorek to succeed Wescott, and Kirk Nichols filled Daley's seat.

Chairwoman Andrea Larmon told The Eagle after the meeting that the summer is a good time for new members to get acclimated to the committee's workings and duties.

By September, Larmon noted, the board will have reconfigured its subcommittees and likely have in place a policy to train newcomers.

"One of our new 'smart goals' is to have a mentoring program for new members," she said.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com.

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