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July 22, 2013

Gilman won't seek 4th school board term

A School Committee member who has helped lead the board and Gloucester’s school system through some of its most challenging yet innovative times has announced that she will not seek a fourth term in November.

Valerie Gilman, who chaired the committee through 2010-2011 and has serve as its vice chair since, announced through an open letter to the community and to the Times in which she said she reached a “difficult” not to run in the upcoming city elections despite initially taking out nomination papers from City Hall.

“I am prepared to leave the committee at the end of my third term, knowing that the district is in good hands,” she wrote. “At a recent meeting, Superintendent Safier presented our new comprehensive evidence and results-oriented district improvement plan that is second to none. I am prepared to leave the committee at the end of my third term, knowing that the district is in good hands and I have faith that Dr. Safier and his leadership team will exceed the aggressive academic goals put forth in that plan.”

Gilman, first elected in 2007, and then re-elected in 2009 and 2011 — when she and other members breezed through unopposed, and after which Jonathan Pope, who served previously, then returned to the committee and was chosen chairman — chaired the committee through the launch of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, through the early stages of exploring a potential new West Parish School, and through the transition of superintendents from Christopher Farmer to Joseph Connolly in a one-year interim role, and then to Richard Safier, who was chosen in February 2011.

“One of my proudest accomplishments was chairing the committee that hired a capable and visionary superintendent who has strengths in curriculum instruction, common core, assessment, and professional development,” wrote Gilman, whose full letter appears on Page 11 of today’s Times.

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