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School Board Retains its Leaders

Don O'Day, James Marpe and Faith Taylor will lead the Westport Board of Education for another year after being unanimously re-elected to their posts during Monday night's meeting.

O'Day, who has served on the board since 2005, received an initial nomination from Taylor, who said O'Day was "clearly a pro."

"Don is a passionate advocate for the students of Westport, and he does not flinch from taking a minority position," she said. "Students, parents and taxpayers alike are well-served with Don as chairman of our Board of Education."

Marpe, who also commended O'Day for his work as chairman, seconded Taylor's nomination of O'Day. O'Day, as Marpe said, is "not afraid to speak truth to power" nor is he afraid to stand up for what's right for students.

After winning what will be his third year as chairman, O'Day thanked the board members for their support.

"I'm just one of seven: I just get to speak a little bit more than the others," he said. "I'm very proud to be part of this board and to be part of this school system."

When it came time to nominate a vice chairman, board member Mike McGovern rallied for Marpe, who has served on the board for the past five-and-a-half years.

According to McGovern, Marpe "brings a wealth of business experience" to the role, which he has held for the past three years. But more importantly, McGovern said Marpe is highly committed to education.

"Jim Marpe will help keep our great schools great," McGovern said.

Marpe, who was also directly backed by O'Day, won his fourth year as vice chairman.

Taylor, a board member since 2007, received equally enthusiastic praise from her colleagues. Elaine Whitney called Taylor "a valuable member of the board's executive team."

With a second nomination from Mark Mathias, Taylor won her third year as secretary.

Are you pleased with the leadership and makeup of the Board of Education? What should be the board's first priority? Post a comment below and start the conversation.

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