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October 23, 2013

Visnick looks to diversify School Committee

BEVERLY — Lorinda Visnick thinks there needs to be more representation on the School Committee from all levels of the city’s schools. That’s why she is running for the Ward 6 seat on the seven-member committee.

“I will bring representation to all children at all levels,” Visnick said. “I have children in elementary, middle and high school. No other candidate can say that.”

Visnick, 48, is running against incumbent Maria Decker, the current School Committee president, in the Nov. 5 election. This is her first time running for political office, and she said she’ll bring integrity, transparency and a strong work ethic to the committee.

She said it is disconcerting that former Superintendent Marie Galinski decided to retire with a year left on her contract. At the time, Galinski said it was likely she would “explore other interests and options in the education field.”

“She is not retiring,” Visnick said. “People should be worried about that. Why did she leave?”

Visnick said there’s been only one public forum on the project to build a new middle school, and she wants to bring more transparency and openness to the project to make sure people aren’t left in the dark. The new school will be built at the site of the former Memorial Middle School, with a September 2017 target date to open.

Visnick said she has no set opinion on a proposal to place fifth-graders at the new school but said it could alleviate crowding at elementary schools.

“I expect our current School Committee to research the issues and bring it back to the public,” she said. “There has been some concern about fifth-graders being with eighth-graders.”

LORINDA VISNICK Address: 39 Middlebury Lane Age: 48 Occupation: Software engineer Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science, Boston University Family: Husband, Al; four children, ages 17, 15, 12 and 8 Community involvement: Briscoe Middle School PTO president, former PTO president for the Centerville School, citywide PTO, Beverly Education Foundation board member, Heads Up! board member Pastime: Quilting

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