Andover School Committee Chair Tracey Spruce (file photo).

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Jayashree Mohandas Prem’s campaign for the Andover School Committee got off to a strong start after she withdrew nomination papers this week.

“Let’s support this incredible successor!” Chair Tracey Spruce said in reply to a Facebook post announcing Prem’s candidacy, while also saying she was not running.

“MINE,” Spruce said when a commenter asked whose seat Prem was running for.

Former school committee member Shannon Scully jumped into the thread, saying she was collecting signatures for Prem, select board candidate Ellen Townson, and school committee incumbent Susan McCready, who, along with Spruce, is up for reelection in March.

Andover News asked Spruce and McCready for comment and will update this story when we hear back from them.

Spruce also suggested last month’s Andover teachers’ strike had factored into her decision.

“After the last month or so I’ve started to wonder if I’m just a mean, dumb a$$hole like everyone seems to think, so it’s nice to be reminded I’m actually not,” Spruce wrote after other commenters praised her tenure on the thread.

Prem has been active in the Bancroft Elementary PTO and has served in a leadership position for the Andover Coalition for Education, a nonprofit that offers support to Andover Public Schools.

Prem’s entry into the race sets up one of the busiest local elections in recent years. In addition to a three-way race for two open school committee seats, three people have also taken out nomination papers to run for two open select board seats where the incumbents have said they will not run for reelection.

Who’s In, Who’s Out

Select Board

Candidate/Potential CandidateRunning?
Annie Gilbert (incumbent)No
Chris Huntress (incumbent)No
Kevin CoffeyCertified, on ballot
Ellen KellerWithdrew nomination papers
Dan KowalskiUndecided
Mike MeyersWithdrew nomination papers
Ellen TownsendWithdrew nomination papers
George ThorlinCertified, on ballot

School Committee

Candidate/Potential CandidateRunning?
Susan McCready (incumbent)Yes
Tracey Spruce (incumbent)No
Jayashree Mohandas PremYes
Chris ShepleyYes
Share Your Thoughts!
5 thoughts on “Andover School Committee Chair Won’t Run For Reelection In 2024”
  1. Looks like Tracey Spruce has a succession plan for the School Comm. How highly inappropriate for an elected official to endorse.

      1. You are absolutely right, Dave, and thank you for the comment. In the governance work we’ve done as a committee, we learned an important responsibility of school committee members is to help identify potential successors when someone decides not to seek re-election. This helps with smooth transitions and ensuring the committee’s work can continue in a professional and smooth fashion. There is nothing inappropriate, unethical, or unlawful about an elected official endorsing any candidate; in fact, state campaign finance laws allow elected officials to donate their own campaign funds to another campaign. I don’t quite understand the attraction some in our community have to conspiracy theories, but maybe that’s part of the fun of being a keyboard warrior.

        1. Perhaps, unfortunately, it’s because conspiracy theories are more compelling than the normal, mundane work of local government. But thanks for your comment. I hope you enjoy having you’re evenings back!

          1. Responding to Mike Meyers’ post below, since for some reason there’s no “reply” option under the post. Hi Mike – I know you enjoy spreading the false narrative that my business has profited from my volunteer service on the school committee. That is provably false, and your personal attacks on me and my business are unwarranted and baseless. You and I have never spoken, you know nothing about me, and you know nothing about my business or my clients or how they find me. I can assure you, I have never once gotten a client because of my school committee work. My business loses money when I spend time doing school committee work instead of work for which I get paid. I don’t understand why you get so much enjoyment out of attacking public servants or spreading lies about them, but you do you. I sleep well at night knowing I’ve done my absolute best for this town. Have a great day!

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