We need to rebuild much of the trust, mutual respect and civility that existed before the pandemic. Nerves are frayed and people are exasperated– I get it.
Some measure of change is always good. Too much is not. I could not have imagined three years years ago that today I would be working with an Interim Superintendent, Interim Finance Director, Interim Town Manager, four-fifths of a Select Board, and that two School Committee members would serve only one term in the midst of a public health crisis. Other senior educators have one foot out the door. Key committees like Capital and FinCom have similarly seen significant turnover and– with this– helpful perspective and institutional knowledge can be lost.
The longer I’ve served, the more direct I’ve become: If elected, I will be the best mentor I can possibly be to School Committee members (particularly newer ones) and will work hard to help develop strong working relationships between the School Committee and other boards, committees and commissions in Winchester. Before I first ran for office in 2010, I attended School Committee meetings (at Lynch) for a year and a half. I did this to prepare as best I possibly could to understand the work of the Committee, its role with district leadership and Town management, and to be as prepared as possible to hit the ground running on day one. In those early days, veteran members Sarah Swinger and Michael Schindelman were helpful to me with valuable perspectives, modeling great behavior both at and away from the School Committee table. Increasingly I reflect on their helpfulness to me as I’ve now become the senior member of the Committee.