Harris will not run for Westborough re-election

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By Bonnie Adams Government Editor

Westborough – As the Westborough 2011 election season gets started, one familiar name will not be mentioned as a candidate for School Committee – Craig Harris. The longtime member recently announced that he is stepping down after he finishes his third term this spring.

“After nine years, it's just time,” he said. “It's been much more positive than negative. It's really made me appreciate the democratic process.”

Harris, a former teacher, is a past president of the Booster Club, as well as the past head of the town's Little League. These experiences have given him a heightened appreciation for children whom, he said, “sometimes get lost in the shuffle.”

“These kids only get the bare minimum at times – they don's get what they need,” he said. “So I'se tried to be an advocate for them. I am also an advocate for Special Education.

Harris also called himself a “big anti-fee person.”

Harris feels his biggest successes have been being involved in hiring the district's past two superintendents, as well as heading up negotiations with the teachers union three years ago.

“I decided to run for another term at that time because I was so heavily involved,” he said. “I didn's want to walk away in the middle of it. Those negotiations actually lasted 27 months.”

Harris said he would certainly encourage others to run for School Committee.

“But do it for the right reasons, not just for your own kids,” he stressed. “We are so fortunate – this is a great town, committed to education and to the kids. We have great students and great families.”

Harris was also complimentary towards his fellow School Committee members, noting that they are “so dedicated, so knowledgeable. They are making a good difference.”

“I'se enjoyed working with Craig during the three years that I'se been on the School Committee,” Ilyse Levine- Kanji, the committee's current chair said. “I appreciate all the time and energy he's devoted to serving the town during the past nine years.”

Now that Harris will have some free time on his hands, he said he knows just what he'sl do.

“I love doing things outdoors,” he said,” and I plan to spend a lot time on my bass fishing boat.”