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Harvard Grad, Former Teacher Picked as Interim School Committee Member

The School Committee also took votes on space needs and full-day kindergarten Monday night. Look on Patch for more on those stories.

Sarah Nichols, a parent and relative newcomer to Braintree with a background as a high school teacher and a master's degree in education from Harvard University, was chosed by the School Committee Monday night to temporarily fill an empty spot.

Nichols will take over the seat formerly occupied by Joe Zarrella. The Bridgewater State University senior resigned his position earlier this month to finish his studies in Washington, DC.

Committee members voted 4-2 to select Nichols for the position, with David Ringius and Mayor Joseph Sullivan abstaining. They then took a second, unanimous vote in favor. Tom Devin first proposed Nichols for the seat, while Sullivan submitted Cheryl Edgar and David Ringius pitched Anthony Holmes.

"They each brought a wide variety of knowledge and experience to the table," Chair Shannon Hume said of the six candidates.

Nichols told members during her interview last week that she moved to Braintree last summer with her husband, who is originally from Braintree. She expressed an interest in focusing on the instructional core, parent involvement and the transition to Common Core standards.

Most recently, Nichols served as a social studies consultant for Hartford Public Schools.

After receiving a history degree from Sienna College and a master’s in education degree from SUNY Albany, Nichols taught history in grades 9 through 12 in Rockland, according to her resume.

She also coached varsity girls volleyball and outdoor track. In 2010, she earned a Master's in Education Policy and Management from Harvard.

Correction: It was David Ringius along with Sullivan who abstained on the first vote, not Lisa Heger.

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