By Amaris Castillo

DRACUT -- A candidate has emerged in this May's race for a seat on the School Committee.

Susan Koufogazos, a longtime Dracut resident, said she would be able to bring to the School Committee a breadth of experience.

The terms of School Committee Chairman Joe Wilkie and School Committee member Dan O'Connell are up this spring.

"I will likely be deciding in the next couple weeks," Wilkie said Wednesday when asked if he plans on seeking re-election.

O'Connell declined to say whether he'll seek re-election.

"I'm running for a seat because I know that I can bring a positive influence to it," said Koufogazos, 55. "I'm running because I know that I am a strong communicator, that I have good ability to think outside the box and to bring strong solutions to some of the issues that are facing our district."

In 2017, the assistant buyer for North Billerica-based Potpourri Group said she found herself in her last meeting on the Greater Lowell Technical High School School Council and realized she wanted to channel the experience into an elected position. Her youngest child, Chris, graduated from the school last year. Chris and Koufogazos' two other children grew up in Dracut Public Schools.

"We have over $11 million dollars worth of capital-improvement projects and very limited town funds to address them, so I think it's time that we start taking a look at some out-of-the-box solutions instead of just putting them back on the capital-improvement process every single year," she said.


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Koufogazos said she'd like to examine the reasons behind what she described as an "exodus" of students from the district. She also said she'd like to find ways in which Dracut Public Schools could retain teachers and help enhance their careers.

The newcomer's campaign kickoff party is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Harmony Hall, 1660 Lakeview Ave., Dracut.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo. Her email address is acastillo@lowellsun.com.