Now that the preliminary is behind us, and the finalists have been identified it is time to include the folks who are running for School Committee. For a little over two years I have served on the School Committee and have played a major role reshaping our Leadership Team.
Over the past 18 months, we have addressed a significant number of issues that were previously swept under the rug and I am eager to continue providing support of our new Superintendent Dr. Robert Tremblay.
One criticism that my opponent (School Committee member) Beverly Hugo has made is during the past year I was not present at a handful of meetings due to my travel for work.
While this is true, the reason I was not at every meeting was due to the need to increase meetings to every week.
Previously we met twice a month. Issues surrounding our former Superintendent, Dr. Stacy Scott’s lack of required licensure and other professional concerns needed our intensified scrutiny and increased the frequency of meetings.
While I was not at some of the public meetings, I remained in frequent telephone communication with the current Chair Heather Connolly.
With the hiring of Dr. Tremblay as the new FPS Superintendent in the spring of 2017 and the exceptional work being done by the School Committee’s Administrative Assistant, we have been able to return to the common and appropriate schedule of meeting twice each month. This change has resulted in efficiencies. I am able to schedule work trips around my School Committee meeting responsibilities and will continue to do so. For example, I will also continue to meet my responsibilities such as school liaison to three of our fourteen schools. I will continue to volunteer for playground builds, fundraisers and PTO events just to name a few.
My commitment to the Framingham Public Schools has not changed.
I am passionate as ever about the education we deliver in Framingham and am committed to the students and families we serve. I respect the staff we employ from the school lunch monitors to the teachers to each school office administrative team and the central office staff.
My attention and focus is exclusively on Framingham. I am a person motivated by the success our students achieve, not by personal recognition. I care more about the results and impact of our collective work on students and staff than the personal accolades that sometimes come with it.
Perhaps the issues caused by our former Superintendent were avoidable had the School Committee followed the recommendation of the FTA five years ago and hired Dr. Tremblay.
My opponent, Ms. Hugo, was part of the Committee at the time and was the leading advocate against their recommendation and was in favor of the person, Dr. Scott, she felt was better for Framingham.
She later went on to become Chair of the School Committee for the majority of the time Dr. Scott was affiliated with the Framingham Public Schools.
During that time, several glowing reviews of Dr. Scott were written by Ms. Hugo, all of which resulted in substantial salary increases and contractual perks.
During executive sessions in May and June of 2016, the Committee was heavily divided on how to handle the situation of Dr. Scott’s status.
I was present at these crucial meetings.
Four members pushed for immediate termination; Mr. Finlay, Ms. Brosnahan, Ms. Connolly and myself.
The remaining three members did not wish to take immediate action and held off a necessary vote of five to terminate immediately.
Framingham Public Schools was forced into a long-term separation process. This cost the district, and ultimately the taxpayers of Framingham, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Two of the three who were against immediate termination were not re-elected last April.
This November is an opportunity for the third to be held accountable as well.
I urge you to make the better decision for District One in the School Committee race and vote for Jim Kelly on November 7th.
School Committee Member
School Committee Candidate District 1