Lapointe, Buzzell, Peters, win seats on the School Committee

Keith Lapointe and Charlie Peters with their families outside North Attleborough High School for the Town Election on Tuesday, April 2. Staff Photo/Michael Oliveira
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Meagan Lee and her supporters stand outside the high school for the annual Town Election, which saw a five-way race for three seats on the School Committee. Staff Photo/Michael Olivera

By Michael Oliveira

A five-way race for the School Committee will see some familiar faces at Wednesday’s meeting.

Tasha Buzzell, Keith Lapointe and Charlie Peters were the top three vote-getters in the sole contested race in the annual Town Election on April 2. Meagan Lee and Aaron Whirl came in fourth and fifth, respectively, out of what turned out to be a close race.  

Turnout for the election was light, with only 1,242, or 5%, of the 23,000 registered voters making it to the polls. 

“Not a lot of people come out and vote locally, to tell you the truth” said Election Commissioner Pat Dolan during the day on Tuesday. “We only have the School Committee vote today and it should be very important, but people just don’t come out as much anymore.”

Despite the turnout not being as high as expected, those working at the polls were surprised with the amount of first-time voters. 

“It’s nice to see the in-civic nature installed in these kids,” said Precinct Warden Stu Britton. 

Every time a first-time voter placed their ballot into the system, everyone in the North Attleborough High School — where the voting took place — would celebrate with cheers and the ringing of a bell to give them recognition.

This increase in first-time voters could be due to one of North Attleborough High School’s own Meagan Lee running for the committee. Lee is a senior at North Attleborough High School, and has sat in on committee meetings for two years as a student representative.

“I have always been super-passionate about getting involved within my local communities,” said Lee. “I saw that there was an opportunity in the Town Election where there were three seats opening up for the School Committee. As a senior going to college, I knew that I wanted to stay local and offer a fresh perspective to the community.”

Keith Lapointe, who has served on the Town Council among other town government roles, was the top vote-getter with 867 votes. This was his third time taking part in the election.

“There is nothing that can be a greater honor for me, it really means a lot,” said Lapointe after being elected. “I wanna bring a stable, rational voice to the committee. I think that I can help with that and make sure that we are building trust within the committee.”

Tasha Buzzell, who has already served a three-year term on the committee, finished second with 781 votes.

“I’m thrilled, I am so excited about what we are going to do, we have so many different skills, and different ways of looking at things.” said Buzzell, the current chair of the committee. “We have so much work to do, and so much opportunity right now. I don’t want to lose the energy that we have today, so we can use it for the next three years.

Charlie Peters, director of digital communications for Bridgewater State College, finished third with 684 votes.

“It’s really been an honor to run this campaign, and to see all those numbers come in,” said Peters. “It’s incredibly humbling, incredibly energizing, and I am really proud of myself.”

Peters is originally from Los Angeles and this was his first election since moving to North Attleborough. 

“Despite not being from North Attleborough, I had a lot of good conversations with people.” 

Peters took the ‘old school’ route by knocking on people’s doors, and talking to them about his plans for the next three years being a part of the committee.

Lee, who has served in a number of student government roles, including the Massachusetts Southeast Regional Student Advisory Council, was fourth with 573 votes.

“I was super encouraged hearing each person’s support, and hearing there was a great turnout from the senior class,” said Lee. “I have learned a lot of lessons. I was able to meet so many town residents, and people who were really engaged with the town government.” 

Despite not getting a seat on the committee, Lee said she was grateful for the opportunity and all that she learned from the other candidates.

Aaron Whirl finished last with 245 votes. He is a graduate of Purdue University and a supply chain manager. 

“Through God all things are possible. There’s a plan for us, and I feel like there’s been a calling in the past few years for me to give back to the community,” said Whirl. “Let’s build our children up with a strong academic curriculum to prepare them for the skills they need post-high school, so they can realize their full potential.” 

Whirl finished by saying, “No matter who won today, North Attleborough couldn’t be a loser.”

The three election winners will start their new position on the School Committee as early as today with the School Committee meeting being held tomorrow April 3rd at 6 p.m.