One contest in Saturday's election in Worthington


Staff Writer
Published: 4/29/2021 7:28:35 PM

WORTHINGTON — The only contested race in Saturday’s annual town election is for School Committee.

In-person voting at Town Hall will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and mailed ballots must be returned to Town Hall by 12:30 p.m.

Two seats on the Worthington School Committee are up for election, and incumbent Pam Thompson and challengers Deborah Clapp and Peter Ricci are running to secure three-year terms on the body.

Thompson is running for a second term on the School Committee. “I felt like it was really just important to give back to the community,” Thompson said on why she ran the first time.

As for why she’s running again, Thompson noted the amount that she’s learned about the job in her three years on the board.

“It felt like it took three years to really start to understand,” she said.

Thompson noted that Worthington is going to be offering free preschool for the first time this year.

“I think that’s a really exciting thing,” she said, adding that figuring out how to make that successful feels like important work.

Thompson directs the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities in Holyoke, a free college program.

Clapp moved to Worthington in 2018, and this is her first time running for elected office.

“I really love the town,” Clapp said. “I want to serve.”

Clapp praised the School Committee, as well as Gretchen Morse-Dobosz, the superintendent and principal.

“I really would love to work with them,” Clapp said of Morse-Dobosz.

Clapp said she recognizes the responsibility of school finances. “I think managing expenses is very important,” she said.

Clapp, who is executive director of the League of Chicago Theaters, said arts education is important to her, and that she would like to see the school continue to promote good citizenship.

Ricci, who has three boys attending the R.H. Conwell Elementary School, said his wife is a PTO leader and that their family is very involved with school events.

“I figured I could run,” he said. “If I’m blessed to get the seat, then I could help out.”

Ricci also said he’s been regularly attending School Committee meetings via Zoom.

“I see as many as I can,” he said. “They’re really informative.”

Ricci has lived in Worthington going on 13 years and works as a tour manager for musicians.

He said he thinks the members of the School Committee have done a good job, but thinks he could bring a different perspective.

Should he be elected, Ricci said, “I would like to make sure that the policies they’re putting forward are for the best for the kids.”

Ricci also said he wants to make sure the American history being taught in town schools doesn’t only focus on the negative.

The other positions up for re-election Saturday are a seat on the Select Board, a seat on the Board of Assessors, two Planning Board seats, two seats on the Finance Committee, town clerk, a constable’s position and Center Cemetery commissioner.


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