|Mount Greylock School District Elects New School Committee|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff|
11:17PM / Tuesday, November 06, 2018
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Christina Conry ran for Mount Greylock Regional School Committee because she wants to help the district's families educate their children.
On Election Day, Conry saw examples of parents doing the teaching.
"I honestly have to say I was thrilled at the number of people who voted and the number who brought their children, which sends them an important message," Conry said. "Men and women are still dying to give us this right. It's so important to vote."
And every vote counted in the three-person race for two four-year seats on the seven-member School Committee. Conry was the top vote-getter among the three, collecting 1,788 nods from voters in Williamstown and Lanesborough. Regina DiLego finished second with 1,737. Michelle Johnson finished eight votes out of the money with 1,729 votes.
The difference in the race was the Williamstown vote. Voters in both towns of the district vote for all seven seats — three of which are occupied by Lanesborough residents.
Johnson had a slight 624-606 edge in the town all three candidates call home, but DiLego outdrew Johnson by a margin of 1,131-1,105 in Williamstown.
DiLego said Tuesday night that she was hopeful her time on the Transition Committee and, before that, Superintendency Union 71, which united Williamstown's and Lanesborough's elementary schools, helped to generate some goodwill for her among voters in the Village Beautiful.
DiLego was the "incumbent" in the race even though all seven seats technically were open as the recently expanded regional school district elected its first full committee since the town's elementary schools were yoked to the middle-high school in November 2017.
A longtime member of the Lanesborough Elementary School Committee, DiLego served on the Transition Committee, which led the PreK-12 district from Jan. 1 until Tuesday's election.
She and fellow Transition Committee members Al Terranova of Lanesborough and Joe Bergeron, Dan Caplinger and Steven Miller of Williamstown won seats on the School Committee without opposition. Newcomer Alison Carter, also of Williamstown, won her seat.
Conry was outside Lanesborough Town Hall all day waving to voters, who unfortunately did not take time to stop and chat on the cold, rainy November day, she said.
"One of the things that was so thrilling was the number of people I saw voting," Conry said. "I have been part of the community for a couple elections before, and it was fantastic to see so many people come in to vote."
Her perceptions were correct.
In Lanesborough, 1,438 votes were cast out of 2,262 registered voters, a turnout rate of 64 percent. In Williamstown, turnout was just a hair lower at 63 percent, with 3,163 votes cast from a pool of 4,992 registered voters.
DiLego said Tuesday that she is glad the voters in both towns gave her a chance to help complete the process of regionalization.
"I'd like to focus on the [district's] Strategic Plan and helping everyone embrace the fact that we're one community," DiLego said. "We're here for the children of Williamstown and Lanesborough.
"There's a lot to be done."
DiLego, a native and longtime committee member, is the only one of the three candidates in the race who attended Mount Greylock Regional High School.
Conry said Tuesday that as a relatively new four-year resident of Lanesborough, she faced a problem of name recognition. But she said that what voters heard about her was helpful.
"I did have a lot of positive social media," she said. "Being new to the area, some of it came from people who couldn't vote for me. But they could vouch for my character. That's what people need to see when there's an unknown person."
Reached on Tuesday evening for comment, Conry laughed when asked if she was heading to a victory party.
"I was [outside Town Hall] from 7 to 7:30," she said. "And then I went to The Old Forge. I felt that a hot meal was my victory party."