Saturday January 26, 2013

ROCKINGHAM -- Despite the approaching townwide elections in March, the Rockingham School Board named a new member to its ranks to fill one of the two vacancies left this month.

Saxtons River resident Rick Holloway was appointed to add a fourth member to the board after Chad Illingsworth and Tim Doherty submitted letters of resignation earlier in January. Board Vice Chairman Jim McAuliffe said it was important to get a new member as soon as possible because three must be present in order to hold a meeting.

He said having only three members on a normally five-member board can be problematic. But having a fourth member means meetings can still be held if one person is unable to attend.

"It's good to be able to have that kind of flexibility," McAuliffe said, adding that the fifth spot can wait to be filled until March.

Holloway told the Reformer he was on the team that designed the renovation of the Bellows Falls Middle School and had some people suggested he run for the school board some day. When he heard about the two open positions, he thought the timing was right.

"I have a son in the second grade (at Saxtons River Elementary School) and I'm just interested in seeing what I can do to help the school system here," he said.

The Rockingham School District includes Saxtons River Elementary School, Central Elementary and Bellows Falls Middle School.


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McAuliffe said Holloway impressed him with the enthusiasm and expertise he brought to the Bellows Falls Middle School renovations committee.

"Rick was certainly well-known to me," he said.

Holloway, who works for Chroma Technology, said he has never served on a board of any kind and that his is a new venture for him. He acknowledged the learning curve that is bound to come with the appointment but he looks forward to understanding how the whole process works. He hopes to help improve local opinions of the school board and bring some balance to it.

Holloway will have less than two months under this belt before he is up for re-election in March. He said he won't launch much of a campaign but gathered more than the mandatory 30 signatures on a petition before submitting it to the town clerk's office.

Doherty was unavailable for comment on his decision to resign and the phone for Illingsworth was not in service.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311. You can follow him @dpoli_reformer.