Hirschfield, Andersen retain BOE seats
Voters in Washington elected representatives Tuesday to fill four seats on the Region 12 Board of Education. From a field of seven candidates, incumbent board members James Hirschfield and Valerie Andersen retained their seats and Jennifer Pote and Peter Tagley were elected to the board.
Fran Caco, who is finishing her first term on the board, lost her seat.
"I will be on the other side of the table," Caco said Tuesday. "I am not done."
Andersen pulled in 197 votes, and Hirschfield earned 274 votes. Both will enter their fourth term on the board in July.
"I do believe this will be the capstone moment where we can move ahead one way or the other and finally solve some long-standing problems," Andersen said.
"I am glad for the opportunity to act on things Dr. Cosentino and the board have begun this year," he said. "Under her leadership, a lot of changes are being made to keep up with the changes mandated by the state."
Caco received 151 votes.
For Peter Tagley, who received 256 votes, July will bring a return to the board he previously served from 1985 through 1996.
"We're at a crossroads. The student population is getting very low and decisions have to be made," Tagley said. "The new superintendent needs a group of board members to support her."
"It's important not to have a divided, factious board," he added. "Nothing can get done that way. It's important to support the superintendent to give her plan two years to see if it will work."
Jennifer Pote now serves on the region's long-range planning committee and previously served as PTO president and vice president for Washington Primary School.
"I'm glad to be in such great company on the board," said Pote, who received 228 votes. "I'm looking forward to what's coming next. We've got a lot of work to do. I'm very encouraged for the future of our region."