New BOE President and Vice President Come with New Year


courtesy of Lorriane Soisson

New President, Lorraine Soisson and Vice President Chris Pulsifer look to make big changes this year.

Nick Holt, Staff Writer

During the Jan. 6 Board of Education meeting, some new changes were made along with the new year.  BOE members Jean Trujillo, Gregory Gillette, and John P. Oliver were inducted onto the school board. For Trujillo and Gillette, this isn’t their first time as BOE members, as they are both incumbents who just finished their first and third terms, respectively.  They, along with Oliver, who is new to the Board, were the three highest vote getters of the five candidates who ran last November, with Trujillo receiving 4,250 votes and Gillette receiving 3,754 votes.  

Along with the three board members being inducted, the President and Vice President were also determined on the same night.  Lorraine Soisson, was elected as President, and Chris Pulsifer as Vice President by their fellow Board members. Soisson will have to adjust to her new responsibilities as president.

“Mostly the president presides over the meetings and determines committee composition,” Soisson said. “The president also sits on all committees as an ex-officio member.”

With her new responsibilities, comes a new game plan for the year:

“The Board of Education has a lot of work to do this year,” Soisson stated, “First, we hope to have ratification of the Hillsborough Education Association contract shortly. We have to begin work on implementing the referendum projects approved by voters in December to improve the infrastructure of our schools.”

Soisson gave a timeline and overview on her upcoming plan, hoping to make some changes quick.

“That work will begin this summer but preparations are already getting underway for selection of contractors who will perform the work,” Soisson said. “Over the next few months, we will be finalizing the school district budget, which again will be impacted by a loss of state aid (about $1 million) and soaring costs for healthcare. I hope to engage the Board and the community on ways we can improve our schools in this resources-limited environment throughout the year.”

This is Soisson’s first time as President, but she has served as Vice President for the past two years and has a total of 7 years experience as a member.  Since first getting elected in April, 2012, with only a short time off the Board (from January 2016-July 2017), Soisson’s experience should propel her towards a productive term.

With some new faces on the board and a new contract in place, this should hopefully end the tension between the teachers and the board, and ultimately add up to a recipe for a success.

Overall, the recent elections should bring new hope and success with the new year.