Ann Hennessey not seeking reelection to School Committee

  • Standing second from left, Northampton School Committee member Ann M. Hennessey, who represents Ward 5, is sworn in during an inauguration ceremony at the Northampton Senior Center.  GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/30/2019 1:38:56 PM

NORTHAMPTON — School Committee member Ann Hennessey will not be running for reelection in November.

“I don’t think there’s one particular reason,” she told the Gazette on Wednesday. “I’ve enjoyed my three terms. I have kids who I would like to spend time with … For me, it’s a perfect time to move on and let someone else serve in the same capacity.”

Hennessey, 53, has represented Ward 5 since 2013 and works as a social studies teacher at Chicopee High School. She is married to state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and they have two children together who attend Northampton Public Schools.

In 2013, Hennessey ran for School Committee because she wanted to do more for the community and her kids. “I’m a product of public K through 12 schools,” she said at a School Committee meeting on May 9, when she announced her decision to not seek reelection. She paused to hold back tears, as she talked about her identity as a teacher for 22 years.

“I’m a first-generation college student,” she said. “So I feel like I’m an example of why public schools are a great equalizer — and I believe that.”

Reflecting back on her time on the committee, Hennessey said at the meeting, “Democracy is so messy — it is messy, and it is slow moving, but I’ve been really proud of the work of this committee for the five and a half years I’ve been on it.”

As an example of an accomplishment in her tenure, she told the Gazette, “One is hiring a superintendent who has been able to stay with us as long as we’ve had,” referring to Superintendent John Provost.

Speaking of the rest of the committee, Hennessey continued, “I can’t believe how amazing these people are … We have other jobs, we have families. It is tireless and sometimes thankless, but I don’t think anyone cares about that.” 

She invited anyone interested in running for her seat to reach out to her. “It’s hard, we make mistakes,” she said, “but I really encourage anyone to run in Ward 5. Please contact me if you want to talk.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at

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