Procedures Announced For Filling School Committee Vacancies


Photo: Blue Diamond Gallery. Creative Commons


Three (3) new Amherst School Committee Members will be selected no later than Thursday, October 5, 2023.  Interviews will be conducted and three (3) new Amherst School Committee Members selected on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at a Special Joint Meeting of the Amherst Town Council and the remaining Amherst School Committee members. If necessary, an additional Special Joint Meeting of the Amherst Town Council and remaining Amherst School Committee members will be held on Monday, October 2, 6:00 pm to complete interviews and select the new Amherst School Committee Members. Candidate Statements of Interest are due to the Clerk of the Town Council by Wednesday, September 20, 4:00 PM EDT.

The Special Meetings will take place at 6:00 p.m., as a hybrid in-person and virtual meeting, with the in-person component being held in the second floor Town Room, Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue and the virtual meeting accessible via zoom. Amherst Media will also broadcast the meeting(s) live on channel 9. Public comment will not be accepted at these special meetings.

Amherst Home Rule Charter, Section 4.1.c, and MGL Chapter 43 Section 36 govern vacancies of School Committees in cities. The Charter requires a roll call vote of the Town Council and remaining Amherst School Committee members to fill a School Committee vacancy, and the winning candidate must receive a majority of votes of the Town Council and remaining members of the School Committee. The selected individual shall be sworn in by the Town Clerk at Amherst Town Hall during business hours as soon as possible and will serve until newly elected members of the Amherst School Committee are sworn in on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. If any candidate also wishes to be on the November 7, 2023 ballot for a two-year term, they must follow the same process as any other candidate for town-wide office. Per the Amherst Home Rule Charter, the individual selected to fill the vacancy will not be listed on the ballot as “a candidate for re-election”.

The new Amherst School Committee members will also serve on the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee and may serve on the Union 26 School Committee and other subcommittees.

Candidate Statements of Interest are due by 4:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, September 20, 2023. This deadline cannot be extended. A Statement of Interest must be submitted in order to be considered a candidate for appointment to the vacancy. Interviews will be conducted in a group setting. Any candidate unable to attend the interview either in person or virtually will not be considered for appointment. 

Candidate Statements of Interest shall be typed, submitted as an MS Word Document or PDF, and shall not exceed 700 words in length. The Statement of Interest shall describe why the candidate is interested in serving out the remaining term on the School Committee and why they should be selected to fill the vacancy. Statements of Interest shall also include the candidate’s name, address of voter registration, email, and at least one telephone number. Resumes and attachments will not be accepted. A description of the Amherst School Committee responsibilities and expectations is available on the town website.

Statements of Interest may be submitted to the Clerk of the Town Council Athena O’Keeffe by email (, hand delivered, or sent by mail to: Amherst Town Hall Attention: Athena O’Keeffe, 4 Boltwood Ave, Amherst MA 01002. Statements of Interest must be received by the Clerk of the Town Council no later than 4:00 pm EDT, Wednesday, September 20, 2023. Email is the preferred submission method. Once submitted, the Clerk of the Council will request the Town Clerk confirm a candidate’s eligibility as a registered voter.

Statements of Interest will be available to the public on September 22, 2023 on the town website as part of the Town Council meeting packet materials for the special meetings on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 and, if needed, on Monday, October 2, 2023.

On the Friday prior to the Special Meetings, the Town Council President will send an email to all candidates who submitted Statements of Interest and are registered voters, all remaining Amherst School Committee members, and all Town Council members linking to the meeting packet, which will include the description of the process to fill the vacancies; the candidates’ Statements of Interest; a description of the Amherst School Committee’s responsibilities and expectations; and questions for the group interviews. 

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