I am proud to stand with our youth, their parents, and our educators in supporting a world-class education for all children. Below you can find my statements on various issues regarding education in Waltham.
I believe education is the corner stone of our community, and Waltham is blessed with education leaders who tirelessly advocate on behalf of our children and our community. We have one of the best districts in the state, and with currently planned facility updates we will be able to continue to expand our dual language program, which offers Spanish and English speaking students a chance to share classrooms and learn from and with each other, update our science and arts spaces, allowing students a chance to experience hands-on learning beyond the traditional classroom, and enhance our vocational tech program, which allows students a foothold into the working world by teaching them trade skills. As a member of the city council, I will work with my neighbors in Ward 6 and our school’s leadership to support our schools by ensuring our students have all the resources they need to succeed.
Originally posted on September 8, to Sharline Nabulime for Waltham City Council on Facebook.
A child’s formative years are essential for lifelong success. Our educational leaders understand this and work tirelessly to ensure that Waltham’s youth have access to the best educational opportunities. As a councilor, I see my role as being well-informed about the priorities of our educators and parents, actively seeking and sharing information between them to ensure that children thrive.
The council does not craft the educational vision for our schools, but that doesn’t mean a councilor should be a bystander. Children truly are our future. If they succeed, Waltham succeeds. As a councilor, I will support the school department’s annual fiscal priorities, advocate for prompt construction of the new high school, and ensure that all parents are aware of the amazing programs available to our students, from the Dual Language School to the ChangeMaker Academy.
Ward 6 is also a center for many of Waltham's after-school opportunities, including the library’s teen room, the Boys & Girls Club, and a soon-to-be-opened Recreation Center. A councilor can come alongside these groups and support their needs. It starts by listening to our youth, their parents, and our educators. As the Ward 6 Waltham councilor, I will do just that.
Originally posted on July 16 to Sharline Nabulime for Waltham City Council on Facebook.
When I talk with my neighbors in Ward 6, the issue of where to place a new high school often comes up. The question that has caused so much contention in our community is whether or not the city should take the Stigmatine’s property by eminent domain. Yet in our conversations as neighbors, it is very clear that choosing the location of a new high school has less to do with eminent domain and more to do with three equally important issues in our community—trust, transparency, and over-development.
If the choice were to locate a high school at Stigmatine’s or leave the land as open space in perpetuity, many of us would have a difficult time deciding what should be done. I'm strongly supportive of open space and our community’s last remaining farm, and I am deeply concerned that eminent domain could be used too casually. I feel that that is not the precedent we should be setting. A city that does long-term planning should—except in the most extreme circumstances—never need to resort to taking private property.
Yet the choice is not about whether this land should remain open space. It is about whether the Stigmatine’s will be the home of a high school for our children or a large-scale development, and that is something that constituents across the ward have said they do not want. They do not want it because over-development without clear planning is eating up our roads and clogging our streets with cars. I believe we can all attest to the sometimes unbearable amount of time it takes to get from one part of the city to another.
We have a choice whether or not to trust our educational leaders—the school committee, school building committee, and superintendent. They have conducted a consistently transparent process that tells us why they have made the recommendation that they have regarding a high school location. I believe that the decision making process in Waltham should be open, transparent and inclusive. Theirs has been the kind of open process that deserves the trust of our other civic leaders, even when we have reservations, because it is clear that these educational leaders have Waltham’s future in mind and at heart. They are not rash or radical. They truly do care about kids and recognize that our children are the future.
I do not celebrate their decision, but I trust it, and I trust it because of the choice we have; large-scale development or a school for our children. I trust it because it has encompassed the openness and transparency worthy of trust.
Originally posted on June 22 to Sharline Nabulime for Waltham City Council on Facebook.