Trevor Baptiste (right), Superintendent Maria Geryk (left)
The first half hour of last week's Regional School Committee meeting was taken up by an attempt to "reorganize" the Committee i.e. vote in a new chair, coincidentally enough to replace one who is on Maria Geryk's enemies list.
During Public Comment at the RSC April 12 meeting Mr. Baptiste allowed friends, supporters and fellow ARHS grads to read a letter decrying Aisha Hiza's ban from all Regional school grounds for advocating on behalf of her bullied child.
Some members and school officials thought it was out of order since the incident originated at Pelham Elementary School which is not part of the Region and therefor beyond the purview of the Regional Committee.
Geryk started the meeting as Chair and immediately wished for them to "reorganize." Chair Trevor Baptiste was having none of it and the bickering began.
Geryk was relying on a previous tradition where the Region would reorganize after local town elections as well as state law that says committees must do so within ten days of said elections, which happened more than a month ago.
But Baptiste pointed out that law does not apply because the Regional Committee is not elected they are appointed by the local school committees and his town, Pelham, has yet to appoint one of their members to the Region.
Amherst School Committee Chair (and automatic member of the Region) Katherine Appy pressed for the reorganization although she told Mr. Baptiste it was nothing personal.
Interestingly at yesterday's Joint Capital Planning Committee meeting, composed of two members each from the Finance Committee, Select Board, Library and School Committee, one School Committee member was MIA.
Joint Capital Planning Committee yesterday (minus one School Committee member)
Ms. Appy told the JCPC that Rick Hood had not run for reelection in the March 29 election and the School Committee (which has met twice since then) has not yet appointed one of their own to replace him on the JCPC.
With neither side seeming to budge a compromise motion was made and approved to have the Regional School Committee reorganization take place at their June 14th meeting, and by then Pelham would have appointed a member to the Region.
I'll be bringing popcorn to that meeting (and a fire extinguisher).