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Wife of deceased Merrimack Valley board member will fill his vacant seat

Seelye Longnecker, a retired Merrimack Valley School District educator, will serve in her late husband David’s seat on the school board.

“It just seemed like a good idea,” she said. “I know how much (David) cared about the work that the board was doing, and I shared his commitment to doing the best that we can to provide the best education for our kids (in) the most fiscally responsible way possible.”

David Longnecker served on the board as a representative from Salisbury for 12 years. His unexpected death Jan.
30 came after the filing deadline for school board candidates, giving the board the power to appoint a replacement to serve until next year’s elections.

Seelye Longnecker and Salisbury resident David Merwin both expressed interest. The two spoke to the board at this month’s meeting, and the board chose to appoint Longnecker. She worked as a special education teacher at Merrimack Valley High School for 11 years before retiring in 2011. She is also a coach at the CSI Charter School, which
David Longnecker was actively involved with before his death.

She said she felt she had something to contribute because of her background in the district and knowledge of the issues through her husband’s work.

Since Longnecker was just appointed at the last meeting, she doesn’t have any committee assignments yet. She also hasn’t decided if she’ll run next year to serve what will be one remaining year in David’s term. For now, she wants to help the board and district however she can.

“I have a lot to learn,” she said. “I’m going to listen and learn and do what I can.”

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or or on Twitter at @kronayne.)

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