Belmont officials have chosen local resident and Lesley University faculty dean Lisa Fiore to fill the School Committee seat vacated this summer by Pascha Griffiths until the position becomes available for a town-wide election next April.
Belmont's three selectmen and five remaining School Committee members chose Fiore over the other finalist, former School Committee member Elizabeth Gibson, on Monday in a 6 to 2 vote, said School Committee chair Laurie Graham.
Monday's vote came after selectmen and School Committee members split their votes evenly - 4 to 4 - between Fiore and Gibson last week. At this week's meeting, panel voters had the two candidates read statements about their accomplishments and strengths, and tell the panel what they would bring to the table as School Committee members, Graham said.
"It was a hard decision to make, but I think her educational background was a determining factor for many people," Graham said. "We're all looking forward to working with Lisa."
In her letter of interest to the town, Fiore touted her career as an education professor at Lesley University, and noted that she also sits on various education and parenting boards throughout the region. She regularly volunteers at schools, and has spent a good chunk of her career culling through textbook manuscripts, she said in her letter.
Fiore will be sworn in as an official School Committee member this week, Graham said.
The six-member school board faces a busy season. School Committee members this year will be in charge of searching for superintendent candidates as the interim head, Dr. Thomas Kingston, retires next summer, Graham said. The committee is accepting applications through Oct. 1, and hope to appoint a candidate by the December holiday break to start on July 1 of next year, she said.
The committee will also be tasked with preparing for school union negotiations, as well as balancing the district's budget, Graham said.
"We'll be working with town government to determine the needs of the Belmont school system and the town of Belmont," she said.
For more information on the Belmont School Committee, visit Belmont's public schools' website.