Two more candidates announce bids for Northampton School Committee’s at-large seats

  • GWEN AGNA

  • ALINE DAVIS

  • Northampton High School GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/6/2021 7:57:45 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Two new candidates have emerged in the election for School Committee, but it remains unclear if there will be enough people to fill the nine-member committee after November.

Gwen Agna, the longtime principal of Jackson Street Elementary School who retired last year, has announced her candidacy, while Longmeadow Public Schools teacher Aline Davis has pulled nomination papers, according to the city clerk’s office.

Agna and Davis are running for the committee’s two at-large seats, while at-large member Roni Gold has taken out nomination papers to seek a second term. If all three candidates, or more, are certified for the Nov. 2 ballot, the two with the most votes will win the seats.

A total of five School Committee members have announced they will not seek reelection, including at-large member Susan Voss. As of Tuesday, no one has taken out papers to represent Ward 2 or Ward 6 on the committee.

Margaret S. Robbins is running for the Ward 1 seat and Michael K. Stein is running in Ward 4. Both are currently unopposed. Running for reelection are Emily Serafy-Cox (Ward 3), Dina Levi (Ward 5) and Kaia Goleman (Ward 7), all of whom are unopposed.

Agna was an educator for 45 years, more than three decades of which she spent in Northampton. Originally from Ohio, she came to Northampton in 1988 to serve as the district’s early childhood coordinator, and later, equity coordinator.

She served as interim principal at Bridge Street school in 1993 and took the helm of Jackson Street School in 1996, where she worked for 24 years.

“I’m very interested in supporting public education, specifically in Northampton,” Agna said. “I want to be a voice for all residents who have their kids in the schools, as well as the teachers.”

Agna is planning a meet-and-greet event on Wednesday, July 7, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hampshire Heights housing complex, unit 19C.

Davis, a second grade teacher at Blueberry Hill Elementary School in Longmeadow, has lived in Florence for 17 years and sent her three children to Northampton Public Schools. She said she has been “looking for opportunities to do what I can for this town, which I’ve come to think of as my hometown.”

“With my skills and experience, I think I could really add a lot,” Davis said.

Nomination papers, available through the city clerk’s office, are due to the Board of Registrars by July 30 at 5 p.m. At-large candidates must collect signatures from 100 voters in Northampton in order to appear on the ballot, while ward candidates must collect 50 signatures.

Brian Steele can be reached at bsteele@gazettenet.com.


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