Williams selected to fill vacant School Committee seat

Al Williams has been appointed to the School Committee to fill the vacancy left by Meagan Taylor after her resignation in January.

Williams was chosen after more than two hours of interviews at a joint meeting with the School Committee and the town’s Select Board last Wednesday night at Abbot Hall. Williams, the last candidate to be interviewed, beat out six other candidates for the position. 

A deputy chief services officer at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services and Security, Williams also has experience teaching in Philadelphia’s public school district and at institutions of higher learning in Massachusetts.

He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Lehigh University, and then got his MBA from the University of Baltimore before receiving a doctorate from Benedictine University of Higher Education. 

Each of the candidates were asked nine questions about topics such as budget-building, communication, retaining and attracting staff, and transparency.

During his interview, Williams said having a “priority mechanism” is one of the most important things when structuring a budget.

“When you’re looking at all of the funds that are available for you to do what you’d like to do, there has to be some prioritization mechanism in place,” Williams said. 

While many other candidates were on the fence when it came to running for election to the committee in June, Williams said he would be committed to running if appointed.

Williams said that he is retiring in five weeks and will use his new free time to be committed to Marblehead’s schools.

“I’m looking forward to kind of taking that time and energy and passion and applying it to the School Committee and the students,” he said.

The other candidates interviewed Wednesday night were Alexa Abowitz, Luisa Boverini, Ruth Farmery, Sarah Magazine, Tom Mathers, and Brenton Speed.

The School Committee’s next meeting, and Williams’ first as a new member, will be on Thursday, Feb. 15.