Tal-Makhluf out of hotly-contested School Committee race

Karen Tal-Makhluf has announced she will be running for one of two School Committee seats in June. Photo by Karen Tal-Makhluf

Karen Tal-Makhluf announced that she is withdrawing from the race for School Committee.

In a press release from her campaign, she said she was “encouraged to see four other candidates enter the race,” and did not want to detract from their efforts by continuing her candidacy.

The other main reason she cited was that she will “need to be traveling during much of the campaign season”.

Despite Tal-Makhluf’s withdrawal, the ballot remains crowded, with four candidates vying for just two seats. The other candidates include incumbent Sarah Gold, Brian Scott Ota, Paul Baker, and Jenn Schaeffner.

Ota was once the principal of Glover School, Baker is the current head of school at Devereux School, and Schaeffner served on the committee before losing reelection in 2020. Tal-Makhluf lent her opinion on the four remaining candidates, although she did not specify them by name.

“Two of these candidates have clearly demonstrated the temperament, focus, attitude, and experience that all of us should consider to be essential in serving this important role in our community, especially at a time when so much is at stake for our children,” Tal-Makhluf said in the press release. “By contrast, the two other candidates have shown both in their online communications and during public meetings a lack of courtesy or good judgment and a clear inability to work respectfully with parents, colleagues and teachers to resolve differences. We need to ensure that our elected officials serve as good role models for our children and our community, as we seek to come together for the well being of our students and teachers.”

She will now join the rest of Marblehead in electing the town’s next two School Committee members on Tuesday, June 20.