, Gloucester, MA

March 26, 2013

ME chairman's exit opens school seat

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — MANCHESTER — With the regional School Committee Chairman Anton Giedt stepping down from his post and committee member Ann Harrison making a run for an open Board of Selectmen seat, voters will be seeing some new names on the Annual Town Election ballot this spring.

Giedt handed in his resignation to the Manchester Board of Selectmen earlier this month and said Monday he is moving to Rhode Island.

Giedt said the move is being prompted by a combination of things, noting that his wife works in the state and adding that his job, an assistant attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, is also taking him out of the area.

With his departure, there are a total of four open seats on the regional School Committee, three in Manchester and one in Essex. Manchester committee member Ann Harrison is not seeking her seat again and is instead bidding for one of two open seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Linda Crosby, another Manchester School Committee member, has her seat expiring this year, too. Crosby has taken out and returned papers in her bid for re-election, while Julie Riordan of has taken out papers to fill Harrison’s seat. Both of those are three-year seats on the regional committee.

Riordan said Monday she moved to Manchester, in part, because of the quality of the school district. She holds degrees in early childhood education and social work. She is currently a substitute teacher at the Brookwood School in Manchester, a private school which serves children through eight grade. Riordan also has a daughter in the district, currently a sophomore at Manchester Essex Regional High School.

Meanwhile, Shannon Erdmann, a Blue Heron Lane resident, has taken out and returned papers to fill Giedt’s seat, which has two years left to run, while James Haskell, a committee member from Essex, said he returned his papers to the town clerk Monday morning to launch his re-election bid.

In Manchester, the deadline to take out papers for the Annual Town Election is April 2; the Essex deadline was March 21.

In stepping aside, Giedt said Monday that the district’s hiring of Schools Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin — a search in which he was heavily involved — and the completion and opening of the now four-year-old, $49 million Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School were some of his proudest accomplishments during his time on the committee.

“Its been a wonderful seven years,” he said. “They (the committee) were great people to work with.”

He said that, under Beaudoin’s guidance, the administrative offices have been effectively revamped, and that the special education, curriculum and business offices are running efficiently.

Giedt said Beaudoin has a tremendous amount of vision and has taken guidance from the committee very well.

Crosby, meanwhile, noted Giedt’s work within the committee and his positive working relationship with Beaudoin.

”He was a visionary and a very capable team leader,” she said. “Filling his shoes will be hard.”

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at