As I reflect upon the past 8 years, I believe that progress was made in the schools, but recognize that challenges remain. What I have learned is that the quality of our schools is not solely determined by any one issue nor is it as simple as having some extra money in the budget--while that helps--it does not guarantee that the schools will reach their potential.
What will make a difference is having a School Committee member like John Portz who provides leadership, who faces challenges head on, who can frame and move the issues forward, who engages stakeholders in the process and does the hard work necessary to improve the educational experience and provide opportunities for all students.
John Portz has unmatched experience in education and at all levels of government and has worked tirelessly to help the District reach its potential. I cannot think of one initiative or accomplishment in the schools that did not have John's hand in bringing it to fruition. John does not seek credit or grandstand but rather always works collaboratively and acknowledges the efforts of others. If you care about moving the schools forward then please join me in voting for John on Tuesday.
I will share that I don't know as much about the other candidates, since they have not been as deeply involved in the schools. What I do know is that David Stokes has been engaged with the schools and has shown a willingness to participate to improve the schools. He served 5 years as co-chair of the Lowell School Site Council and as co-chair of the "Goals Measurement Advisory Committee". I know him to be level-headed and even keeled. And he demonstrated a willingness to step up and help develop a "report card" to measure how the schools are doing. I believe these qualities and commitment make a difference; I will be voting for David.
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