Independent contractor Greg Odell of Dalton, who is serving his sixth year as chairman of the White Mountains Regional School District school board, has been nominated by Gov. John Lynch to serve on the seven-member state Board of Education.
Photo by Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
March 29, 2012CONCORD — Governor John Lynch nominated Greg Odell of Dalton on Wednesday to a five-year term on the seven-member state Board of Education to represent District 1. His nomination must go before Governor and Executive Council for a vote, likely at its next meeting on April 18 in the State House.
Odell was elected on Monday, March 26, to his sixth year as chairman of the seven-member White Mountains Regional School District school board. Five Coös County towns — Lancaster, Whitefield, Jefferson, Dalton, and Carroll — make up the WMRSD that has an enrollment of 1,255 from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The ninth-grade class at WMRHS is the District's largest class at 117, and the total first-grade enrollment at three elementary schools the smallest at 63.
"I'm feel both honored and humbled to think I might have the opportunity to serve the North Country and the state," Odell said in a Thursday morning telephone interview. "I'm thrilled; it's been quite a journey since I accepted an appointment from the Dalton board of selectmen nearly 10 years ago."
Odell first dipped his toe into the area's political scene in 2003 when he represented Dalton on the Article 15 committee to review local school taxes sparked by the town of Carroll's request for changes.
In Jan. 2004 he was appointed to the WMRSD school board to fill a vacancy. He was first elected to the board in March 2004 and has served continuously for the eight years since then.
He was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees for the North Country Charter Academy in 2005 and is in his fourth year serving as vice chairman.
Odell has been a self-employed building contractor since 1986. He is also a USSA level 100 certified Alpine race coach, working with Jr. level races aged seven through 14 for the past eight years.
A native of Connecticut, Odell graduated 1979 from Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford, Conn.
Odell and his wife Barbara Andross have two teenage sons, age 15 and 17. Odell lists all four Coös 2 state representatives as references on his resume: Rep. John Tholl of Whitefield; and Rep. Herb Richardson, Rep. Bill Remick, and Rep. Evalyn Merrick, all of Lancaster.
In advance of his nomination, Odell said that he had met with Gov. Lynch in the Corner Office for about three-quarters of an State Board of Education members serve without pay except for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Five are selected, one each from the five executive councilor districts, and two are selected from the public at large. Except when appointed to fill the unexpired term of a previous member, members serve for a five-year term and may serve up to two consecutive terms. The Board must hold at least six regular meetings a year.