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Neckes Seeks School Committee Seat

High school parent Susan Neckes is running for an open spot on the board, while current board member Heidi Black is seeking re-election to her position.

After many years of volunteering in the , Susan Neckes is looking to take on a new role—a seat on the School Committee.

Neckes took out nomination papers last week to run for an open seat on the board. So far, she is uncontested, as current committee member he will not seek another term.

“We’re really fortunate to have a great school system, and we have a wonderful superintendent and a very capable school board, but I know that we’re also facing some real challenges,” Neckes said. “I just felt that this was a place that I could contribute.”

A Needham resident for about 25 years, Neckes has served on the board and as president of the Needham Education Foundation, co-chaired the School Override Committee and has helped with other school-related efforts, including the program, which mentors low income students at the high school. She also has served on the school committee at .

In addition, Neckes has a business background, working in management consulting and having founded and run Status 1 Health Systems, a company that employed several hundred and which has since been sold.

“I have a passion for the schools and an analytical background that will really be helpful,” Neckes said of why she feels she would be a valuable addition to the School Committee.

Neckes has three children who have benefitted from the Needham public school system—one who has graduated and two who are currently at .

Also this week, School Committee member Heidi Black announced plans to run for re-election. Black is serving her first three-year term on the committee and is currently the vice chairwoman.

“I’ve enjoyed my three years as a School Committee member in Needham and feel that I have more to offer the community,” Black said. “I want to build on the experience I have gained over the last three years to continue trying to advocate for Needham children and their schools.”

A career educator, Black is the principal of Wayside Academy in Framingham, a small private school for children with special needs. She previously worked as a special education teacher in Newton Public Schools for more than 25 years, was the assistant principal of Newton South High School for 10 years and was the district’s director of high school construction for 10 years as well, managing the construction of Newton South and Newton North high schools.

Black has lived in Needham for about 20 years. She has two children in the Needham public school system, both at the high school.

Black also served as the president of the PTC for three years, was co-chairwoman of two override committees for High Rock School, is a member of the Future Space Needs Committee for Needham Public Schools and represents the School Committee on the Permanent Public Building Committee for all school construction projects. She also has served as a Town Meeting member for a number of years.

“My long record of involvement in the community and my background in education, in addition to the three years I’ve served on the School Committee, make me an excellent candidate for re-election,” Black said.

Nomination papers to run in the April 10 town election became available on Tuesday, Jan. 3 in the town clerk’s office at Town Hall. For more information and a complete list of deadlines for candidates related to the 2012 town election, see from the town clerk’s office.

Below is a quick look at the town officials whose seats are up in 2012:

NAME CURRENT POSITION 2012 PLANS Michael Fee Town Moderator, one year unknown John Bulian Board of Selectmen, three years running Maurice Handel Board of Selectmen, three years running Damon Borrelli Assessor, three years running Heidi Black NPS School Committee, three years running Bill Paulson NPS School Committee, three years not running
Dave DiCicco Trustee of Memorial Park, non-veteran, three years unknown Ron Sockol Trustee of Memorial Park, veteran, three years running Margaret  Pantridge Trustee of Needham Free Public Library, three years unknown Gregory Shesko Trustee of Needham Free Public Library, three years running Peter Connolly Board of Health, one year running Martin Jacobs Planning Board, five years running Heydon Traub Commissioner of Trust Funds, three years running Thomas Jacob Park & Recreation Commission, three years running Brian Nadler Park & Recreation Commission, three years unknown

A third seat on the Board of Selectmen is expected to be open, as Selectman Jim Healy has on Jan. 25.

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