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Hathaway and Smith join incumbents on Pittsfield School Committee

Supporters hold signs outside the polling place

PITTSFIELD — Voters picked two new members and returned four incumbents to the School Committee of the county's largest district during Tuesday's local elections.  

Former Pittsfield Mayor Sara Hathaway and educator Vicky Smith were elected as newcomers to serve on the panel. 

All four incumbents who were seeking to defend their spot on the School Committee succeeded in clinching yet another two-year term. Mark Brazeau secured his second term on the committee and was the top vote-getter of the night. 

William Cameron, a former interim Lenox superintendent and Pittsfield resident, polled second and will go on to serve his third term on the School Committee.

Hathaway handily snapped up a seat, coming in just behind Cameron. Hathaway was the city's mayor from 2002 to 2004, and also a four-year English teacher at Reid Middle School.   

Vice Chairman Dan Elias, a 24-year School Committee member, was the evening's fourth-highest vote-getter.

Smith, an educator who recently has served as a substitute teacher for the Pittsfield Public Schools, followed Elias in the polls, earning her a first term on the committee. 

Rounding out the slate is incumbent Alison McGee, who came in sixth, securing a second term for the special educator for Monument Valley Regional Middle School

Two other challengers who campaigned for a spot fell short: Bill Tyer and Karen Reis Kaveney-Murray, who did not participate in either of two School Committee candidate forums that were held in October. Tyer is the parent of Pittsfield Public School students and Kaveney-Murray, also a district parent, is a Portuguese and Spanish interpreter and translator for Pittsfield schools.  

The ballot also included the names of two candidates — sitting School Committee member Nyanna Slaughter and would-be challenger Katie Lauzon — who announced that they no longer were seeking election after the deadline to withdraw from the race passed. The two came in last and second to last in the polls, respectively. 

Slaughter was appointed by the City Council and School Committee to serve out the reminder of Dennis Powell's term, after Powell resigned from the board in protest of its superintendent pick. 

Current School Committee chair and longtime member Kathy Yon decided not to seek another term on the board.  

The winners will be sworn in to office in January. They will serve on the committee alongside Mayor Linda Tyer, who is a de facto board member.  

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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