Belmont Schools will need a school committee with a diverse skill sets. To return to normal after the pandemic, elected leaders will need to be critical, and decisive. Bringing online the new schools and reconfiguring Chenery in the middle of a pandemic requires more planning and strategic oversight.
I want to bring 21st century leadership to support 21st century education. We need more people on the school committee who consistently confront their own biases, ask the hard questions, and vet assumptions to make good decisions.
Community trust is earned when we say what we will do and then get it done. The highest value that leaders bring is not their ability to identify obstacles, but how they move forward despite them. I want to build a can-do culture that celebrates taking risk, without minimizing our vision or delivery. Above all, we need to recognize that true innovations happens when we're ready to be uncomfortable, embrace risk-taking and integrate diverse ideas and people who may sometimes be at the margins.
The town of Belmont has been an education destination and school quality is a positive predictor of property values and town fiscal health. My vision for the School Committee is to shift to a can-do, solution orientated culture focused on excellence AND equity, through parent/educator partnership.
We need to develop a strategic plan to address loss of learning across all levels, repair the reduction in student engagement, and support the emotional needs of all students. We need to elect School Committee leaders who are willing to partner with the community, listen without bias, and actively monitor progress using metrics that improve outcomes.
I will work hard to increase youth engagement, ensure that we maintain academic rigor and opportunities for those ready to be challenged (e.g. math acceleration, breadth of advanced/AP courses, performing arts), increase services for the most vulnerable, and support solutions that address structural challenges to close the achievement gap.
The challenges that families and the district face are real. Budget realities require difficult decisions in any community or institution and my priority on the SC is to help manage these decisions. When communication is clear and anchored in empathy, leaders and stakeholders can make informed decisions that we can all own as a community.
We can rebuild public trusts through effective communication and transparency, ensuring that community and educators input are obtained, visible and vigorously debated.
As a SC member, I will always advocate for our schools, and will work hard to rebuild public trust. I want to bring a disciplined management of risks and budget. I will work with the school administration and town to build a shared ownership of risks and opportunities to maximize the value for the BPS community.