For many people, the idea of the “school committee” is somewhat elusive. You know it’s there. You think it’s important. But other than that, you don’t know much about it. In fact, not only is it important, but there are ways and reasons that you can and perhaps should get involved.
The Triton Regional School District School Committee is made up of nine members; Three community members from each town who are elected for a three year term on a rotating basis. The individuals who make up the School Committee are parents and community members, like you and me. They may or may not have children in the system, but they understand the importance of a strong school system in helping to elevate the towns in which they live.
The School Committee has three main functions: to determine policies and practices for the school district; to hire the superintendent; and to create and approve the budget. Every member also serves on a subcommittee which includes Finance, Policy & Advocacy, and Personnel and Negotiations.
In 2020, two of Triton’s longest-term School Committee members are considering retiring. Dina Sullivan and Deb Choate have been on the Triton School Committee for 15 and 16 years respectively and have both been a tremendous asset to the district. While they leave behind enormous shoes to fill, they are both passionate about the importance of the job and hope others will step up to take on the role.
“Being on the school committee is one of the most important things we can do for our communities,” said Deb Choate. “The children in our schools will one day be running our communities. Giving them a quality education is what will allow them to successfully do that.” Ms. Choate goes on to describe her time on the School Committee as a very rewarding position, and one that she will miss if she does indeed step down.
Unquestionably, advocating for the students and staff of Triton is at the heart of what the School Committee does. “My work and decisions made while a member of the School Committee have always placed the needs of the students as the priority. I am proud of the time spent working on behalf of the staff and students of Triton,” Dina Sullivan explains. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the Committee, but it is time for me to ‘graduate’ and move on to the next chapter in my life.”
For those interested in exploring the role of School Committee member, nomination papers are available from the town clerk in your town and require a minimum number of signatures from the candidate’s town of residence. Elections are May 12th and voters from all three district member towns vote for school committee members from all three towns. One person is elected from each member town for a term of three years. Should you have questions about the process or would like more information about the responsibilities of the school committee, please feel free to reach out to Dina, Deb or any other school committee member. Their contact information can be found on the website: https://www.tritonschools.org/school-committee/