Bill Hayner, Dave Rogers, Sean GarballeyBill Hayner with Reps. Dave Rogers, Sean Garballey. / APS photo

A man of compassion, conviction and commitment to the community. 

That is how those who know him well described William “Bill” Hayner, longtime Arlington School Committee member. 

The informal tribute took place at the March 30 committee meeting -- Hayner’s last as a committee member. Early this year, Hayner chose not to run for reelection after 12 years of service, saying that he plans to continue with the many volunteer activities for which he is known locally.

His colleagues, the superintendent of schools and two state officials commended him during the meeting.

'Put Arlington kids first'

“Congratulations,” said state Rep. Sean Garballey, who represents Arlington and West Medford. “You have been one of the great ones. You have always put the kids of Arlington first.”

Garballey called Hayner a “champion for kids,” “hard-working” and “diligent” and was pleased that he plans to “stay active in this community that you love so much.”

State Rep. Dave Rogers, who represents part of Arlington and North Cambridge, called Hayner “outspoken” and “firm in convictions and beliefs” and also noted his great sense of humor.School Committee logo

Together, they presented Hayner with a laudatory citation from everyone at the Massachusetts State House.

'Thoughtful colleague ... critical questions'

Committee Chair Liz Exton described Hayner as “a thoughtful colleague who asks critical questions,” who demonstrates “dedication and commitment” and who is admired for his volunteer service with Rotary, Mass. Audubon, Habitat for Humanity and the Children’s Room.

Kirsi Allison-Ampe continued the theme of Hayner’s work with youth, mentioning that he had helped third graders to put on mock Town Meetings and Stratton Elementary School students to create their own campus constitution.

Jeff Thielman called him “a dear colleague who took the time to study issues” and “did his homework, did his research.” He also noted that Hayner, relatively late in life, had earned a law degree.

Paul Schlichtman mentioned that Hayner had been given a lifetime achievement award by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Helped engage Morgan

Jane Morgan said that meeting Hayner in 2015 was what spurred her to become ever more engaged in local political life. “My loyalty to him has been unwavering,” she said, despite their not necessarily agreeing on all issues.

Len Kardon said Hayner was “quite a contributor, supporter and negotiator” and said that his departure will leave a large void on the committee.

Superintendent Elizabeth C. Homan praised his “courage of conviction,” “kind heart” and “commitment to Arlington.”

Hayner called his School Committee tenure one of his four longest-term commitments in life, along with his U.S. Air Force service in Vietnam, his former career as an elementary teacher and his 50-year-plus marriage.

“Thank you all, be well and God bless you,” Hayner said.

On behalf of the committee, Exton presented Hayner with a clock in a wooden frame. The committee took a short break for celebratory refreshments at about 7:30 p.m. before continuing with its work.

Hayner is to be succeeded by Laura Gitelson, who was elected April 1 and who is scheduled to take her seat at the next School Committee meeting, on April 13. 

Watch the entire March 30 meeting on ACMi:

March 29, 2023: $88.9m School budget OK'd, as committee meets at METCO


This news summary by YourArlington Assistant Editor Judith Pfeffer was published Wednesday, April 5, 2023.

Donate button, 300pxThis reporting demonstrates your donations at work to support democracy here. YourArlington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.Your contributions are tax-deductible.