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Collins elected as vice chair of Springfield School Committee for 2015

Date: 1/9/2015

SPRINGFIELD – The first meeting of the new year for the Springfield School Committee had one major agenda item: the election of a new vice chair.

Christopher Collins was unanimously elected to succeed Denise Hurst.

“It was a pleasure to serve as vice chair last year,” Hurst said as she nominated Collins.

Mayor Domenic Sarno who is the chair of the committee praised Hurst for her work on as vice chair.

Collins noted that Hurst as well as the other committee members had treated each other respectfully last year, which is a good example for students.

“You can disagree, but you don’t have to be disagreeable,” he said.

Collins said the actions of the School Committee “are lasting changes that affect the life of a child.”

Referencing Hurst’s husband, Justin, who is a City Councilor, Collins said with a smile that he is looking forward to working with “the lower chamber.”

Collins said the role of the School Committee is keeping first the needs of the city’s children.

When asked what he believed would be the committee’s biggest challenge in 2015, Collins told Reminder Publications, “getting the Empowerment Zone up and running.” The zone sets aside the city’s middle schools with a separate contract for teachers and allowing administrators to develop and use different strategies for student improvement.

The city would be “forging a new path” Collins said, as such a zone within a school district is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth.