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GROTON A seat on the Groton Dunstable Regional School Committee became available with the resignation of one of the town s representatives, and two residents have stepped forward to apply for the vacancy.

According to the office of the Board of Selectmen (BOS), Reedy Meadow Road resident Paul Funch and Boston Road resident Berta Erickson will be considered for appointment. The board is scheduled to meet with the School Committee on Jan. 3 to decide between the two.

The School Committee vacancy became available after member Kim Cowie announced some weeks ago that a pending move to Maryland forced her to resign.

Cowie s last day on the committee was Dec. 23, only eight months into a three-year term originally held by former member Jeanne Niemoller.

Cowie won the seat following last year s election when she defeated challenger Paul Fitzgerald for Niemoller s seat, then occupied by appointee Cynthia Barrett.

In the same election, Barrett won a full three-year term of her own when she took over a seat from Judy Converse, who had decided not to seek re-election. Barrett s move opened Niemoller s position once again, this time with only a year remaining in the term.

Cowie gave up the seat with another four months remaining to its original three-year term.
The opening on the School Committee was just good timing for him, said Funch, coming as it did just as other commitments were winding down.

“I was just looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet when a couple of good friends of mine asked me to consider the open position on the School Committee,” he said.

Funch has been a member of the town s Trails Committee, the Groton Conservation Trust, the Squannacook River Runners Club and the First Parish Church of Groton board of trustees.

“I ve always felt very strongly about the town, and contributed as I could, but I want to give to the town in a more substantive way,” said Funch. “Another factor in my decision was that I felt the committee needed to be a real advocate for the school district. The town really needs to know all the good that the district is doing for kids, and what is necessary to keep it going. I think we need a committee that s willing to say that the schools are going to be hurt if we don t maintain a certain level of quality.”

After the selectmen and School Committee members vote on Jan. 3 to appoint one of the candidates to fill the remaining time on Niemoller s term, the winner will then have the option of running for a full three-year term of his or her own, or step down.

Berta Erickson could not be reached for comment by press time.

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