When the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School school committee meets Monday night, there will be a familiar face.

Kimberly Kirk, an Edgartown school committee appointee on the high school board for the past several years, will be there, despite having lost to challenger Kelly Scott at the April annual town election.

The planned appearance of a committee member who was just defeated has ruffled some feathers around the Island, but Ms. Kirk said the regional school agreement dictates that committee members continue to serve through the end of May.

“Under the terms of the regional agreement, which was approved by all six towns, I’m entitled to stay on until May 31,” Ms. Kirk said in a telephone interview Monday morning. “Edgartown is entitled to have a representative there. This is about my town. This isn’t about me.”

In an email to Ms. Kirk that was provided to the Gazette, schools superintendent Richard Smith said that the regional agreement states that the Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury school committees shall annually appoint its members to the high school committee at some point in May. That appointee shall serve for one year starting in June.

“This means that although a person must be a member of the local school committee, such as the Edgartown School Committee, at the time of appointment to the Regional School Committee, upon being appointed, that person continues to serve through May 31 of the following year whether or not that person continues to be a member of the local school committee,” Mr. Smith wrote.

Additionally, the regional agreement mandates that the local school committee can’t act during the month of April to appoint a new member, he wrote.

Conversely, West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah members on the high school committee are to be the people who are elected or appointed to the “member town” seats on the up-Island regional school district committee, which oversees the up-Island schools. They serve on the regional high school committee from the time they are appointed by the local select boards until their successors are appointed, according to the agreement.

In an interview with the Gazette Monday, Mr. Smith, who started as superintendent in 2022, said he was unsure if there had been questions in the past about the committee transitions. Because this was his first election, Mr. Smith went back through the agreement to make sure everything was proceeding correctly.

He had the school’s attorney look into the matter and they concurred with the May 31 end date.

Having a sitting high school committee member who was ousted at the local election has rubbed some people the wrong way.

In a letter to the high school committee, Doug Ruskin, a West Tisbury resident and a member of the Dukes County Commission, said the regional agreement also allows a town school committee to appoint a member if they are lawfully removed from office.

“Clearly, this could be interpreted in multiple ways, including that she has been removed by the voters of Edgartown,” he wrote. “Her successor has been sworn in and Ms. Kirk is no longer an elected school committee member in that town.”

Mr. Ruskin said it was his “strong belief” that the high school committee should err on the side of caution in this matter.

The school district has come under pressure in the past few weeks as Chilmark and West Tisbury voted down the school budget in protest of the district’s plans to place no cap on legal spending to defend its plan to install an artificial turf playing field. The high school committee is slated  to talk about its lawsuit against the Oak Bluffs planning board, filed over the board’s denial of the turf plans, in an executive session Monday.

“Given the important decisions that will be made by your committee in the near future and the clear ambiguity of the language, I believe it is imperative that no decisions be made involving a ‘member’ whose position may be even slightly in question,” Mr. Ruskin wrote.

Ms. Kirk, a member of the high school subcommittees on transportation and athletics, said she wants to tie up loose ends before her exit. That includes trying to secure federal funds for the rollout of an electric bus fleet.

Ms. Kirk, who has also been in favor of the turf plan and made the motion to continue funding the ongoing lawsuit with no upper limit, said she had the support of town leaders to continue serving into May.

“I’m going to fulfill my oath and finish my term,” she said.