Several candidates for the June 20 town election have already pulled papers and announced their intentions to run, including former Glover School principal Brian Ota, who wants to join the School Committee.
“I’m retired now and there are two openings on the School Committee. I’m interested in looking at running for one of those two spots,” said Ota, who was let go from the Glover School last June after five years as principal there. Previously, he worked as assistant principal at the Village School and the dean of stdents in the Dennis-Yarmouth School District. Ota said he would be releasing a more formal statement — outlining his reasons for running in greater detail — later this week.
Also running for the School Committee is Karen Tal-Makhluf, a mother of three children ages 10 and younger.
“Like many other families, we moved to Marblehead to enjoy the seaside living and the excellent public schools,” Tal-Makhluf wrote in a press release. “Over the past several years, it has become painstakingly clear that Marblehead Public Schools need to refocus their priorities on recovering from student learning loss and promoting academic achievement. For this reason I have decided to run for School Committee.
Tal-Makhluf started a petition in June 2021 to remove the Black Lives Matter banner at Marblehead High School, accusing BLM of being antisemitic. Supt. John Buckey declined to take down the banner.
“If we are truly committed to becoming an anti-racist school district, our students, families and staff must know that we recognize and are committed to eradicating racial injustice in our community,” Buckey said at the time. “There have been conversations with our local rabbis and with the Anti-Defamation League and there is no support for removing the BLM banner.”
Other candidates who have taken out papers for the June election include:
Select Board: Incumbents Alexa Singer and Erin Noonan and former Select Board member Bret Murray. All five Select Board seats are up for re-election.
Recreation and Parks: Incumbents Matthew Martin and Linda Rice Collins, and Shelly Bedrossian. All five seats are up for grabs.
Board of Health: Tom McMahon
Water and Sewer: Incumbents Barton Hyte, Thomas Carroll
Moderator: Incumbent Jack Attridge
Housing Authority: Incumbent Theresa Tauro
Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.