GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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August 7, 2013

School board race has 6 challengers

The words “fresh blood” are ringing as a key phrase among candidates challenging in the race for Gloucester’s School Committee as they seek to stake out places in what is now a 10-person scramble for the six elected seats.

While Roger Garberg, formerly censured in June, has yet to take out papers and three-term member Valerie Gilman announced she would step out of the race last weekend, feeling the district is on a good course, the remaining four incumbents face six new challengers, with many incumbents and challengers still collecting the 150 signatures required by Aug. 13.

Joel Favazza was one of at least three candidates who had collected all of his signatures and had them certified by Tuesday, about a week prior to the deadline. Favazza, who graduated from Gloucester High School in 2003 and became an attorney before returning to Gloucester, said he is committed to the school system.

“I’m a product of the school system, I’m dedicated to the city of Gloucester, and I’m hoping that some fresh blood will bring some fresh ideas,” Favazza said Tuesday,

Favazza is not a father yet, but if he does have children one day, he hopes they will attend a healthy Gloucester public school system — the same schools he attended years ago. He supports a return to using the former Fuller school building rather than funding a new West Parish school and was outspoken on the topic at a public hearing in July and in an interview Tuesday.

“I’m certainly concerned about the future of all the elementary schools and how we’re going to make sure that all of the elementary students are given the opportunity no matter which school they go to,” Favazza said. “The plan to replace one of five elementary schools inherently advantages the lucky 350 students who go to that school and disadvantages the rest.”

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