An Influential Triad

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Pamela Berry, Beth Roth, and Susan Covey

What a big year 2008 is for women all across the nation.  This year’s presidential race is seeing a powerful force with female front-runner Hillary Clinton.  But, what about here at home?  Has anyone else noticed, oh say, three powerful women right here in our own backyard?  Well in case no one noticed Salem itself has just seen a remarkable historical event take place.  The three major committees of town government; the school board, budget committee and, the board of selectmen are now all chaired by women.  This is a historical first in the town of Salem.

Pamela Berry

For the past fifteen years Pamela Berry has been on the Salem school board committee.  She is an active and devoted advocate in all facets of public education.  She supports everything from continuing education, special education, school sports, music, art, and so much more.

Taking a trip down memory lane Pam remembers what got her started.  She remembers when her children were small and were students at the Soule School.  She was an active member with the school’s PTA, and regularly attended school events and PTA meetings.  She began to see around her a school with so much potential that was yet lacking so many necessities.  These things were important to her as she had them while she was growing up and attending elementary school.  At the time the Soule School had no nurse’s office, no real library, no guidance department, and not even a conference area.  Pam remembers attending a PTA meeting where the school asked the PTA to brainstorm a fundraiser to create funds to purchase more chairs for the school’s make - shift library.  Pam just could not believe that there were not funds set aside within the school district’s budget for these types of purchases.  These things were necessities, not luxuries.  From there her service and role as an advocate for Salem schools took off into a successful flight.  Pam began to attend school board meetings regularly because she knew changes were needed.  She wanted to learn more about it, as well as learn more about how the school district was run, and even met with the superintendent of schools.  She knew she could make a difference.  Fifteen years later and still making a difference she is a fixture of the school board, and now is their first female chairman.  Pam said, “I have an internal commitment to my community.  The object and purpose of being involved in town government committees is to help and see the community grow, and move forward.”

What a great job she has done.  Pam has also been involved with several community organizations.  In addition to her involvement with Salem schools she has also been involved with the Salem Junior Woman’s Club, and supports Dollars for Scholars.  Pam shares her home with her husband Harold, and they are currently putting Laura, Sarah, Eddie, and Alice (their four children) through college.  Pam is employed as the office manager for Spindel Eye Associates.  She has worked there for nine years.

Beth Roth

The Salem board of selectmen’s new female chairman is well-known attorney Beth Roth.  Beth has been on the board of selectmen for the past three years, this is her first year in the historical position as the board’s first female chairman.

When Beth’s children were small and attending Salem schools she was heavily involved within the community.  When her children grew up and went off to college she missed the activities and the general involvement she once had and longed to get involved again.  That is what led her to the board of selectmen.  After three years of involvement she is now enjoying the position of chairman.  She has a strong desire to contribute to this community that she loves so much.  Beth said it perfectly when she stated, “I love connecting with the people in my community, making a contribution to it.  I want to be able to leave this a better place than it was when I got here.”  To Beth the most important focus of being the chairman of the board of selectmen is encouraging more participation in the community, whether it is in regards to decision-making or making a volunteer contribution to the town.  She strongly encourages town residents to get involved in whatever it is they care about, just be involved.

Beth has been a Salem resident for 35 years.  As a young mother raising her children in town she was involved with the Salem Junior Woman’s Club.  Now all these years later she is making the ultimate contribution to her community.  She is also currently the board of selectmen’s representative to the Salem Depot restoration project.  Beth enjoys this project very much and loves meeting those who have stepped up to the plate, rolled up their sleeves to contribute elbow grease to make it better.  She also enjoys hearing stories from our senior citizens who have lived here in Salem for many years and have historical stories to tell.  The history of Salem fascinates her and now she too is part of it, making Salem history right now.

Beth shares her home with her husband Mark and daughter Lexie.  She also has two more daughters Annie Buntin who lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children, and daughter Jen Guzi who lives in Waltham, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.  Beth has been a practicing attorney for ten years and currently has her law offices Debruycker, Roth & Associates in Salem, Dracut, Massachusetts, and North Andover, Massachusetts.

Susan Covey

Susan Covey is also a historical woman in the making.  As the Salem Budget Committee’s first female chairman she is holding a position that like Pam Berry and Beth Roth will surely be in future history books for Salem.  Susan’s inspiration to get involved was fairly simple.  She is involved in banking and finances.  She has a deep knowledge and understanding of finances, so she felt she had something to contribute.  She would read the newspapers and watch the news on television realizing she wanted to learn more.  She wanted to see exactly what went into creating and sustaining the town and school’s budgets.  Susan said, “It’s really raised my awareness of how the town of Salem is run.  It has been a great learning experience this far.  Prior to this I did not have all the knowledge of what goes into town government.  I have learned a lot of things about the different committees that I did not know before.  I am very excited about my new role and eager to continue to learn more.”

Susan is also very involved within the community of Salem.  She is on the board of directors for the Salem Boys & Girls Club, she is on the board of directors for the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce, she is on the board of trustees for Dollars for Scholars, and is a team member for Relay for Life.  Susan’s background in finance makes her perfect for the position, and it’s no wonder why.  She is the Vice-President and Regional Branch Relationship Manager of Enterprise Bank in Salem.  Susan shares her home with her husband Michael.  They have two grown children, Tom and Katie.

Historical firsts like this one are very exciting.  All the power to these great women for all they do, and the devotion and commitment they give to us in this town.  Congratulations girls!  Keep that “Girl-Power” flowing!

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Who Was That Masked Man!

Soule School under the direction of Art Teacher, Ms. Nadeau, has been busy working on a very creative mask project this past week.  Each student paired up with another student and made masks on each other. When they totally dried, they were able to get creative with their individual designs.  This was a fun event that brought a new outlook on art and creativity.  Good job!

Chris Wyatt and Andrew Amelo getting creative...

Cody and Ryan working on finishing touches...

Gabrielle holding up a dried mask before painting...

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Mozart at Lancaster

by Robyn Hatch

Lancaster School again gave its students an event not to be easily forgotten.  “Opera Presto!” presented Mozart to the fifth-graders under the music instruction of JoAnne Facendola.

The students got to meet Mozart himself, as well as to see the glittering sites of Europe in this fascinating operatic biography that celebrated the life of the musical genius.  Mozart came alive and acted out his life, his dreams, and best of all, his music.  His music was played throughout the event using only four instruments.  “Mozart” was able to get the students laughing many times and hopefully got a spark of interest generated in classical music.

Opera Presto! has played shows in Lancaster as well as many of the other Salem schools previously.  To get in touch with them to go to or call (781) 799-7240.  They are well worth the interest.

Steve warming up before show

Future followers of Mozart:  Ashlee Sarnie (white), Raven Rheaume, Kelsey Gordon (pink), Maggie matter

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Haigh Reflections

Winners go national  – Julia Coryea, Jordan Shore, Logan Shore, Billie Junget, Taylor Bramhall and Danielle Demers.

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