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Christine Phillips appointed to South Hadley School Committee

The Select Board and School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Phillips in a joint meeting on Tuesday. Phillips, 41, of 33 Lawn St., whose appointment will last until April 2015, replaces Dale Carey, who resigned in January.

“I think you’re going to do just a terrific job,” Select Board member Ira Brezinsky told Phillips moments before the boards voted. “It’s very clear to me that you get it.”

Phillips grew up in town and attended South Hadley public schools. She and her husband, Kevin, have two children in the school system. Her son, Andrew, attends Mosier Elementary School, and her daughter, Kate, will begin kindergarten at Plains Elementary School in September.

“When I look back at the experience I had growing up in this town and being a student at these schools, I have wonderful memories,” Phillips said. As a student in the school system, she said she appreciated having access to high quality teachers, and that she aims to make sure that the best people are working in the schools.

Phillips added that her own mother had been involved in the schools, and that she would like to continue that tradition.

“I want to be one of those people that is active and present in seeing so much of the good that is happening in our schools and in our community everyday,” she said.

Phillips is the executive vice president of operations at United Personnel, a staffing company with offices in Springfield, Easthampton and Pittsfield.

Also Tuesday, the Select Board interviewed four candidates to serve as interim members of a new redevelopment authority. A special Town Meeting in November approved establishing a five-member redevelopment authority to revitalize underdeveloped areas of town.

Eventually four permanent members will be elected by the town, and a fifth will be appointed by the state.

Several of the candidates for the interim positions said they hope the redevelopment authority’s first focus will be on the revival of South Hadley Falls, the oldest neighborhood in town.

Gerald A. Judge, of North Main Street in the Falls, said he believes a historic district or mixed development, which is both homes and businesses, are possibilities for the empty areas of that section of town.

“When we come across this bridge and enter this town, what you see before you is not encouraging,” he said. He added that when the demolition of FiberMark building, 1 Canal St., is complete, he hopes it will be replaced with something that welcomes visitors.

Ed Boisselle, of Canal Street in the Falls, questioned whether there is enough traffic in the neighborhood for it to become a business destination. A lot of the traffic in that area is headed over the bridge into Holyoke, he said.

The other candidates interviewed for the redevelopment authority were Schley Warren, of Ludlow Road, and Select Board Vice Chairman Francis J. DeToma.

Select Board chairman John R. Hine said the board will interview another candidate April 1 and will also appoint members at that meeting.

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