South Hadley School Board Chairman Jackson Matos resigns citing health concerns

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SOUTH HADLEY — School committee chairman Jackson Matos has resigned from the board, citing health reasons.

Matos was unable to attend the last board meeting on June 2.

“I survived a heart attack and have recovered from my acute health crisis. This is my second heart attack, and my doctors and family have advised me to reduce the stressors in my life and to “to make changes to my lifestyle. Unfortunately, one of those changes includes my resignation as a member of the school board,” Matos wrote in the resignation letter.

“I have enjoyed serving the learning community of South Hadley by working on this committee. My colleagues on this committee serve for all the right reasons and they all take this work seriously. This is more than a volunteer position for all of us, and I now have a greater appreciation and respect for public service,” the letter reads.

Matos expressed pride in the work done by the committee on behalf of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Matos was elected to the school board in April 2021 as Jennifer Matos for a three-year term that expires in 2024.

School committee vice-chair Allison Schlachter called Matos “an outstanding colleague and leader of the school committee and his wisdom, compassion and quick wit will be missed.”

“Jackson offered a racial and social justice lens that really elevated our committee and the work we do in our schools,” Schlachter said. “Jackson leads by example and is a role model for all of us. I fully support Jackson’s decision to step down because taking care of his health is the number one priority. I know Jackson will continue to contribute to our community in many other ways.

Jackson’s replacement process includes a 30-day period during which those interested in serving on the committee can notify the school district.

The vacancy would then be filled at a joint meeting of the selection committee and the school committee, when the two councils vote to appoint a replacement, from among those who applied.

This appointment would be in effect until the next South Hadley municipal election in the spring of 2023.

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