|FRAMINGHAM – Framingham School Committee Chair Heather Connolly will not seek election to the new City School Committee.
Connolly, who has served on the Framingham School Committee since 2012, will complete her current term on December 31, 2017. If a city form of government had not passed, Connolly’s term would have ended in 2019.
A strong supporter of term limits, Connolly said two terms is enough. Last year when my husband put my signs away, I told him to give my wooden frames to someone who could use them because I would not be running again. I have decided to keep my promise.
Last year when my husband put my signs away, I told him to give my wooden frames to someone who could use them because I would not be running again. I have decided to keep my promise, said Connolly.
Connolly recently led the search for a new Superintendent. Weston Superintendent Robert Tremblay was selected and hired.
“I am really proud of the search process that I helped establish with our consultant, Dr. Anthony Bent, Dr. Ed Gotgart, Chief Operating Officer, and Inna London, Director of Human Resources. The search for the high school principal and the search for the high school football coach were conducted in the same manner as the search for the superintendent. The process is very open and transparent and I hope will continue to be used by the city for key positions in the future.”
In her role as chair and vice-chair, Connolly has also worked very hard to establish better communication between the town and the schools.
This started two and a half years ago, when Connolly along with former selectman Mike Bower and Town Manager Bob Halpin established the Financial Summits. Last spring, Connolly met with Cheryl Tully Stoll, Chair of the Board of Selectmen, to collaborate on the establishment of the School Building Committee which will work on the Fuller project.
Connolly, has three children, all of whom have attended or attend Framingham Public Schools. Her oldest graduated from Framingham High in 2016. Her middle child will graduate from Framingham High in 2018, and her youngest will be a freshman at Framingham High this fall.
“Having children in the school system is important,” said Connolly. She said that is another reason why she is not seeking re-election. “When I first ran for school committee, I had children at all 3 levels – Elementary, Middle and High school. I think this gives a school committee member a different perspective – the committee member is experiencing what is happening. You also come in contact with more parents on a regular basis so you hear more about what is happening.”
Connolly looks forward to the work she has remaining this year.
“Last summer, the committee worked with Dr. Anthony Bent to establish best practices for the School Committee. This is the work that I need to continue to do. The committee needs to get out of the engine room and get to the wheel room. In other words, the committee needs to stop micro-managing the superintendent and stay within their purview of establishing goals and policy, passing the budget and hiring and evaluating the superintendent. Our handbook will be updated and an addendum is being added that will have opinions we have received from the School Committee attorney, David Connelly and Chris Petrini, town counsel. For me it is very important that candidates for school committee understand what the position is and what it isn’t. I would be more than happy to meet with any candidate and discuss the position with them.”