First Candidate for School Committee Announces Campaign
On March 20, 2023, Karen Tal-Makhluf became the first Marblehead resident to announce her candidacy for School Committee in the upcoming election to be held on June 20, 2023. Two School Committee seats are open this cycle. The first was previously held by Emily Barron prior to her resignation late last year. This seat is temporarily being filled by Thomas Mathers following his appointment during a joint session of the School Committee and Select Board on January 23. According to a Marblehead Beacon questionnaire he completed when announcing his candidacy for the interim position, Mathers is not planning on seeking election in June.
Sarah Gold, who has served on the committee since 2018, currently holds the second spot up for election. Marblehead’s School Committee members serve three-year terms, which are staggered so that two seats are open for two years followed by a year during which just one seat is available.
Tal-Makhluf provided Marblehead Beacon with a press release detailing her motivations for seeking election to the School Committee. In particular, she highlighted the following key issues on which she intends to focus if elected: the fact that “72% of Marblehead 5th graders were not meeting grade level expectations,” the move to a Standards-Based report card system, “which removed the category of ‘exceeds expectations,’” the fact that “teachers are not being supported by the administration [and are] underpaid when compared to similar school districts,” and the expectation that teachers implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, “which essentially means that a teacher is expected to effectively teach students within a wide spectrum of behavioral and academic abilities in one classroom,” a move she describes as “not fair to our teachers or students.” Tal-Makhluf additionally intends to focus on the funds being allocated for out-of-district placements by better-serving students with special needs within Marblehead Public Schools. She explained that she sees this election as “our opportunity to change the trajectory of Marblehead Public Schools.”
Sarah Gold has not yet announced whether she will seek re-election, and it remains to be seen who else will join Tal-Makhluf in what will certainly be an interesting election cycle to watch.