The School Committee voted 9-0 to elect Ward 4 School Committee member Michael Mangan as Chair and 7-2 to reelect Michael McLaughlin as Vice Chair during Tuesday’s School Committee meeting at Everett High School.
McLaughlin nominated Mangan, and outgoing Chair Jeanne Cristiano said she was more than pleased to second that nomination.
“He listens and follows the rules while encouraging others to do so as well,” McLaughlin said. “He has a strong moral compass.”
Mangan has a long history of active community engagement, including previously serving on the board of alderman, common council, housing authority board and Everett Democratic City Committee, as E Club past president, longtime coach of Pop Warner football and youth basketball, and a shop steward union. He currently works as a legislative aide for the City Council.
“He has one agenda – to ensure that our children get a first-class public education,” Cristiano said. “He has proven to be fiercely independent.”
Mangan and his wife, Lori, share three children, all of whom graduated from Everett High School.
“We’re lucky to have him,” Cristiano said. “I think he’s going to be a great leader for us.”
Ward 2 School Committee member Jason Marcus said Mangan was there every time McLaughlin was at Spaulding Rehabilitation. “What else can you say about his compassion and caring about people?” Marcus asked. “He’s made a lot of friends.”
In his first speech as Chair, Mangan said he is humbled at the unanimous vote.
“We all do what’s in the best interest of the children,” Mangan said. “I’ve had a long-term relationship with most of you.”
Mangan said he’s glad to call this diverse city home, adding that it’s been a tough year. He forewarned that he’s adherent to rules if he has to cut people off so that discussions don’t get out of hand.
School Committee member At-Large Cynthia Sarnie nominated McLaughlin for Vice Chair, which passed with a 7-2 vote. Cristiano seconded that nomination, calling McLaughlin a “fierce and loyal friend.”
“Last year when I was the Vice Chair, we often differed in our opinions,” Cristiano said. “However, you’ve shown that you care about the kids, wanting the very best for them.”
Sarnie said they ran for Ward 6 together, adding that they respected each other and shook hands. “He loves this city,” Sarnie said. “You call upon him, and he’d be there in a second, along with Mangan.”
Ward 1 School Committee member Millie Cardillo, who served in that seat in the ’90s, said they haven’t always agreed, but they were able to work it out. “I’m proud that you want to stay on for a second term,” Cardillo said. “We have agreed to disagree.”
In his reelection speech as Vice Chair, McLaughlin said he’s truly honored to continue in this role. Last January, he shifted his focus from serving on the City Council when his eyes were opened to the needs of students. “As Vice Chair, I promise to continue to ask questions and continue to make Everett’s children the number one priority,” McLaughlin said. “The role is larger than each of us.”
He encouraged his fellow members to put their personal feelings aside to improve their collaboration.
Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani said Cristiano was an intelligent, honest and refreshing advocate for the committee. “I’m grateful for her leadership,” Tahiliani said. “She always displayed common sense and a great sense of humor.”
Cristiano joked that she likes Marcus’s new hairdo.
During public comment, David Fortin said he wishes the best for both of the leaders. “I’ve known both of you a long time,” Fortin said. “I’m pleased that you’re in a new position.”
Also, during public comment, Paula Sterite said the leaders have big shoes to fill. “I thank Cristiano for allowing residents and taxpayers to speak, for the most part,” Sterite said.