, Salem, MA

Local News

April 18, 2014

Lederman decides against vying for school board seat

Former member said some of his complaints are being addressed

MARBLEHEAD — Controversial former school board member Jonathan Lederman has decided to abandon his quest to regain a seat on the committee.

“I was — for the record — a reluctant candidate,” he said.

But he feels that on the heels of announcing his candidacy to return to the school board that the administration has shown its intention to address some of the complaints that inspired him to run in the first place. Specifically, he cites Superintendent MaryAnn Perry’s plans for science labs with a promise of more teacher involvement.

Lederman also points to the apparent acceptance by officials that morale in the high school needs to be addressed.

“The superintendent is now aware of these problems,” he said.

Lederman’s decision to get into the race was questioned by some. Perry and current board chairwoman Kathy Leonardson disputed, among other things, his complaints of financial woes in the schools. Selectman Harry Christensen held him responsible for the abrupt resignation of former superintendent Greg Maas. When the former Green Bay superintendent departed, he said that board members were interfering with matters that were properly his responsibility. In the aftermath, Lederman decided not to run in the 2013 election, and he continued to fault Maas for leaving school finances in bad shape.

Sitting School Committeeman William Ackerman, appointed to fill the seat of EuRim Chun, who also resigned, is running to serve out the year remaining in Chun’s term. He would have been Lederman’s opponent. In addition, incumbents Tom Connolly and Michael Murphy and challenger Susanna Pratt are fighting for two three-year terms.

“I want to see how all this plays out before I decide to run,” said Lederman, who never returned signatures for the May 13 election. “I’m going to give it at least another year. ... I’ll keep the door open.”

With seven children, the youngest age 3, Lederman said he sees the need to be involved in the schools for some time to come.

“I plan to be an active parent. I’ll be up at the School Committee meetings.”

Alan Burke can be reached at




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