April 27 Town Election to result in new school board members

The Milton School Committee, in non-COVID-19 times, meets in the Milton High School. For now, all meetings are being held virtually.

(File photo by Lisa D. Connell)

Two seats on the School Committee are opening up this year as two veteran committee members have announced they will not be seeking reelection.

The openings come as the Milton Public Schools face the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 education, student overcrowding, calls for greater equality, and the selection of a new permanent school superintendent.

The annual town election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, and nomination papers for those wishing to run for town offices were available from the Town Clerk’s office beginning Jan. 19.

Current School Committee members Kevin Donahue and Sheila Egan Varela have said they will not be seeking re-election.

Donahue, a physician and a parent, said he will not run for reelection due to “increasing family commitments.”

“As much as I would like to, I just can’t find the time to be a dad and husband and a School Committee member,” Donahue said in an email. “I am sure my successors will do a great job.”

Varela, whose youngest child will graduate from Milton High School this year, said she is keeping a commitment that she made to her family when she said she would only serve two terms.

She said she and her family agreed that would be enough for her and for her family.

Varela said she is encouraging others who are considering getting involved during these unprecedented times.

“I do think it’s important to try to give two terms if you’re going to run,” said Varela, adding that two terms are needed to get up to speed and make progress.

“I think we have so many smart and eager and advocating young parents in the town. I encourage them to step up and run,” she said. “When you’re elected, you have a stronger voice.”

Varela said it has been challenging to serve as the chair of the committee during this “unprecedented time of health and racial pandemics.”

She said serving the roughly 2,800 families represented in the Milton Public Schools will take time out of a person’s schedule beyond the two monthly meetings.

Varela said it also takes a willingness to communicate and respectfully work with others who are likely to come at issues from different angles.

“It’s been six very intense years,” she said. “I still feel that how your school goes is how your town goes.”

Varela said she plans to continue to serve as a Town Meeting member and urged others to run in their local precinct as well.

Town Clerk Susan Galvin said candidates for town-wide offices need to obtain signatures from 50 registered voters.

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