School Committee to Choose Among Six for Empty Seat

Committee members will soon decide on someone to fill the spot left by Joe Zarrella when he left to finish college.

The six candidates for an open School Committee position range from a court officer with former committee experience to the president of Sustainable Braintree and a consultant for the public school system in Hartford, CT.

One common thread among those identified by the committee is that they are all Braintree residents who have expressed a dedication to education and volunteerism. 

Committee members will choose one of the candidates to fill 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.

Chair Shannon Hume said that she plans to arrange time for members to interview all six candidates before the next meeting, when an appointment may be made.

"I'm looking for somebody who really wants to be a part of this," Hume said.

The candidates are: 

Cheryl Edgar

Edgar, a longtime Braintree resident with master’s of education degrees in special education and organizational management, is president of the local environmental group Sustainable Braintree.

Most recently, Edgar had been an adjunct instructor at American International University and a trainer for Keys to Literacy. Prior to that she was an elementary school assistant principal and principal in Hingham and a teacher there for more than 25 years. 

Anthony J. Holmes

Holmes previously served on the School Committee from 2008 to 2010 and as the recording secretary. He is an officer at Quincy District Court and an Honor Guard Commander for the state.

Also a senior supervisor at Bay Colony Investigators, Holmes previously served in various capacities with the Milton and Hull police departments, including as an emergency dispatch responder. He studied criminal justice at Quincy College and at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. 

Kevin McGonigle

McGonigle, a nine-year veteran of Boston Public Schools, has two children at Morrison Elementary School. He studied business and economics at Saint Anselm College and received a master’s degree in education from UMass.

Since 2006, McGonigle has taught at West Roxbury Academy and Brook Farm Academy. He also teaches a summer business class at Fisher College. Previously, McGonigle taught at middle schools in Boston, focusing on math and science. His volunteer experience includes coaching Braintree Youth Soccer, and McGonigle formerly worked for Fidelity Investments and Mellon Trust.

Kate Naughton

Naughton told the committee in her cover letter that she moved her family to Braintree 13 years ago to take advantage of the quality of the Braintree schools. She has since been an active volunteer with the Braintree Fund for Education and the Highlands PTO.

Since 1996, Naughton has worked in various positions in the radio industry. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Bridgewater State University. Presently, Naughton works coordinating commercial inventory for Greater Media Boston. Prior to that, she was a traffic assistant for WHDH TV.

Sarah Nichols

Nichols is a social studies consultant for Hartford Public Schools with a master’s degree in education policy and management from Harvard University. Previously, she was a high school teacher in Rockland.

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. She also coached varsity girls volleyball and outdoor track.

Pam Wildeman

Wildeman, a marketing consultant in Braintree, moved to town four years ago and her oldest child will enter kindergarten next fall at Flaherty Elementary.  Wildeman has an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s in economics and math from Dartmouth College. She formerly served on the boards of nonprofits English at Large and The Harbus Foundation.

Currently, Wildeman serves as a strategy consultant for Sedna Marketing Partners and other organizations as an independent marketer. Previously, she was employed by Procter & Gamble and The Gillette Company. Wildeman has also worked for Hasbro and Putnam Investments.

Kathleen DeWitt January 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Sorry to hear that Dr K is retiring. He has done an awesome job for the children and also for the town. He will be missed, that I am sure of. Good Luck Dr K. And enjoy your retirement, you have earned it. The DeWitt's


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