Ann Guay says she is leaving the Bedford School Committee in good hands.
Guay’s final regularly-scheduled meeting was Tuesday, as she is not a candidate for re-election, and the 10-year member was the center of a sometimes-emotional farewell near the end of the session.
“What makes it so easy to leave is because I know you’ll all be here,” Guay told her colleagues. Noting that she once worked as a lawyer with Massachusetts Advocates for Children, she stated, “I learned more about advocacy being on the School Committee than anywhere else. It made me see the full picture.”
Several committee members cited that advocacy as they lauded Guay’s contributions. Sheila Mehta-Green said she first met Guay “at a lecture she was giving about what it’s like to be a special-education parent. She gave so much practical advice. Her passion and advocacy were inspirational. And she has continued to do that.” Mehta-Green added that Guay has “a commitment to looking out for all of our students.”
Sarah Scoville had a different introductory story – she met Guay during a meeting of citizens concerned with helping homeless families who were placed by the state in a local hotel. “I respected you from day one,” said Scoville, praising not only Guay’s example but also her knowledge of policy at the state level.
Committee Chair Brad Morrison said he has “benefited so much from your mentorship. I feel like you helped me learn how to do a really hard job. You have been a role model, a trusted advisor, and we are unquestionably a better district because of your contributions.”
Member Dan Brosgol, who has served the longest with Guay, told her, “I don’t know how I will do this job without you next to me.” Brosgol said Guay has “an incredible heart that is only surpassed by a world-class brain and intellect. I have learned so much from you and with you.” He cited the “profound impact you have had on us and on all students.”
Also expressing appreciation and best wishes were School Superintendent Philip Conrad, Assistant Superintendent Tricia Clifford, Director of Finance Julie Kirrane, and Sarah McGinley, the non-voting committee representative of military families. McGinley will succeed Guay after the March 11 town election.
Guay, who shared that her grandfathers left school as children to work as coal miners, stressed that “all three of my children got an outstanding education from this district.” Parents should always “reach out because we have resources.”
She added that “my way of looking at the world is: You can never go wrong trying to help a child.”