Friday, April 25, 2008
My wife and I have twin boys in second grade and an infant son who will start kindergarten in 2012. We have a long-term interest in the Carlisle Schools. I have a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Computer and Communications Management. As Vice President of Information Technology for a large healthcare organization, I am regularly challenged with decisions regarding technology investments, budget management, operations and team collaboration. I am confident that my skills can be applied to the operation of our schools.
I have been a regular attendee at School Committee meetings for the past year. At these meetings, I have gained insight to the CSC processes and an awareness of the issues facing our schools.
Budget constraints in our town will continue to impact education services. I believe our priority needs to be on the core curriculum and maintaining targeted class sizes. While I believe some of the new programs and technologies would help prepare our children for their future, funding and ongoing costs of those programs need to be planned and justified.
Our deteriorating facilities need to be addressed. The condition of the Spalding Building has been rated by the Massachusetts School Building Authority among the worst in the state. The significant capital investments required to maintain this building may not be the best use of town funds. I believe we should leverage the current opportunity to receive 40% reimbursement from the MSBA to replace Spalding. Construction costs are expected to continue to increase and we could be faced with 100% of the cost if we don’t leverage the reimbursement opportunity now. The School Committee should influence the scope and requirements of the project to minimize the cost to the town.
Teacher contracts will be negotiated during the tenure of new committee members. My experience negotiating contracts with professional organizations could be beneficial.
The School Committee needs to help foster a collaborative environment for teachers and administrators. Our ability to attract and retain highly skilled teachers and administrators is essential to maintaining the quality and reputation of education in Carlisle.
Handling of issues
It’s easy to critique any approach to such a difficult situation. Without knowing the details discussed at closed-door executive sessions, it’s difficult to judge. If elected, I would research the details and work with the other committee members to apply our collective conflict management experience. This situation needs to be resolved.
© 2008 The