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Nashua Board of Education signals new leadership

NASHUA — The Board of Education opted for a change in leadership on Monday night, though not officially, and selected George Farrington as president and Kimberly Muise as clerk.

The votes were non-binding and will be taken again on Jan. 6 after newly elected members Farrington and Dotty Oden are officially seated. No one could remember exactly why the board began the tradition of casting an early straw vote, but it does give members time to prepare and hit the ground running in January.

And while the vote was non-binding, no board members, past or present, could remember a time when the official vote differed from the early vote.

Board members voted, 5-4, for Farrington over Robert Hallowell, the current board president. Farrington previously served on the board from 1990 to 1997 and was president for five of those years.
"The big part of the job is finding a way for nine people to work together," he said.In the vote for BOE clerk, members voted, 6-3, for Muise over current clerk Robert Haas.

In addition to tracking motions and votes, the clerk fills and leads meetings when the president is unavailable."Change is healthy," said Muise who seemed happy to accept the job.
Board members also said thank you and goodbye to two members who lost their bids for re-election last November.

"Dennis Ryder has only been on the board for one term but it seems a lot longer," joked Hallowell, who presented Ryder with a plaque from the school district thanking him for his service.
Hallowell said Ryder had been an asset in sorting through the district's financial issues.

"He says what he means and he means what he says, and I have found him to be a great resource," said Hallowell.
Tom Vaughan, who served two terms on the board, was also warmly thanked for his contribution to the school district.

"I don't know if everyone appreciates the time spent," said Hallowell.

"(Tom Vaughan) was extremely helpful to this board, and he will be sorely missed for the level of effort he put in."

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