BARTLETT — Emily Calderwood, who will appear on the ballot next month for a three-year seat on the school board, was appointed in March to fill out the remainder of Ivette Emery’s term after she submitted her resignation.
Emery’s term had been scheduled to run out March 9 with the election of town and school officials, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, selectmen pushed voting back to May 11 (at the fire station in Glen from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
Emery chose to step down, creating a vacancy on the board that members Scott Grant, Andrew Light, Rob Clark and Chairman Nancy Kelemen could have kept empty until the May election.
However, they chose to fill it, and with Calderwood running unopposed, Clark felt the board should offer the seat to the person most interested in it.
The board ultimately voted 3-1, with Kelemen in the minority, to appoint Calderwood to the seat. Kelemen thought the vacancy should have been advertised.
Calderwood, 47, who lives in Intervale, took part in her first board meeting on Tuesday via Zoom.
“I am very grateful for how well I was introduced to it all,” Calderwood told the Sun on Wednesday, ‘"so I’m not a complete deer in the headlights.”
She added: "I know there is a steep learning curve, but this is a nice time to jump in and get started.”
Calderwood actually took part in her first meeting representing the board March 25 when she participated in SAU 9’s third community conversation about "justice, equity, diversity and equality for all in our SAU 9 schools.”
Calderwood and her late husband, David, moved from Massachusetts in 2018. They “ran away to the mountains together,” she said. They had worked in pharmaceutical research.
“I was a research chemist in pharmacy focusing on oncology,” she said. “I was able to engineer a very early retirement, and we wanted to get away from the rat race.”
Calderwood, who grew up in Nottinghamshire, England, and moved to the U.S. with her husband in 1998, has two sons, Jack, an eighth-grader, and Tommy, a sixth-grader, both of whom attend Josiah Bartlett Elementary School.
Her husband, a native of Scotland, died last April at the age of 52 after battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Calderwood said Clark “may have hinted” she should run for the school board.
“I’m at a point where I need to decide what I want to do,” she said. “I have a big motivation to give back to the town, so many people have been wonderful to us.”
She added: “I’ve also got the time and the energy. My guiding motivation is the kids.”
"Emily is going to do a terrific job," said Superintendent Kevin Richard. "I think she's a strong addition to the board."