LOWELL -- Connie Martin, an eight-term School Committee member, was unanimously elected as the new vice chairman of the committee as the board rang in the new calendar year by taking the oath of office Monday morning at City Hall.
Martin, who had requested to be the vice chair, thanked fellow committee members for their hard work and vowed to further transparency and improve communication with citizens and parents.
"I am really looking forward to working with all of you for another two years and welcome the new member," Martin said.
That new committee member, Stephen Gendron, did not make it to the swearing in ceremony, however. His sister, Gerry McSwiggin of Dracut, said Gendron was caught in the series of flight cancellations on his way home from Hawaii, where he spent the holidays with his son who is serving in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.
City Councilor Rodney Elliott, elected as mayor Monday during a ceremony that preceded the School Committee event, will serve as the committee's chairman.
Some committee members said they believe the district is headed in the right direction but there is also much work left to do. Among the first items on the agenda will be the renewal of Superintendent Jean Franco's contract. Committee member Jim Leary said the committee will be negotiating a new contract with her in the coming weeks and that both compensation and the length of the contract would be up for discussion. Kristin Ross-Sitcawich said goals and objects will be also part of the negotiation.