21 Aug 2014
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: My Campaign This Year Will Be Different

Scott Nassa announces his candidacy for Sudbury Public Schools Committee.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: My Campaign This Year Will Be Different

My name is Scott Nassa and I am very pleased to announce my candidacy for Sudbury Public School Committee (SPSC). As many of you know, I ran for school committee two years ago in a highly contested election. Before I discuss my reasons for entering the race and what I feel I could contribute as a member of SPSC, I would like to address some previous events that will undoubtedly come up.

During the last election, some communications took place that I deeply regret. I sent an email to a member of the school committee that was emotional and very negative. Unfortunately, my private email communication was then published town-wide. In my defense, while I had been attacked throughout the campaign, I never expected the animosity to extend to my family. As a proud husband and fiercely protective father of two young daughters, I was furious that anyone would involve them for their own political gain. I was most appalled when my wife and girls were harassed by a then L-S School Committee member in our church. I never expected to endure these attacks as a candidate for a volunteer position in our town. I simply wanted to run for SPSC as while my children had yet to begin their educational journey here, I believed I would have been an asset to the committee.

That being said I was guilty of being very naive about how contentious a local school committee election could be and take full responsibility for my actions and reactions. There was no excuse then and I have grown from that experience and vow to run a positive campaign firmly focused on what is good for Sudbury’s K-8 school system.

My campaign will be centered on how as a school committee member I will best represent the five critical stakeholders affected by the decisions of the Sudbury Public School Committee: Students, Parents, Taxpayers, Teachers and Administrators. Many parts of our school system work extremely well, but there is tremendous room for improvement. It is important each of these stakeholder groups feels they have a place at the table when it comes to critical decision making.

Students: Families move to Sudbury because they want to give their children access to one of the best school systems in the state. We need to give all students access to the most-qualified teachers, tools and experiences that we can.  As a parent of a present and future SPS student I understand that children are our most important stakeholders. Before every decision that I make, I will always consider how it will affect all of Sudbury’s students.

Parents: I feel this is an especially weak area we can work together to improve. Parents need to feel they have a school committee that works with them when issues arise. We need to be a school committee that is accessible, thoughtful, and compassionate, and align ourselves with the needs of our fellow citizens. Sadly, this has not been the experience of many this past year. I vow to every parent in Sudbury that I will work very hard toward major improvement.

Taxpayers: We are fortunate to live in a beautiful town with an excellent school system; however, I have a great deal of respect for people who work hard to live here and I will treat the budget and the millions of tax dollars that go into it with the utmost respect. We need to earn the trust of our citizens by asking hard questions about how our budget is managed, and always do so in an open, public manner. I believe most taxpayers are well aware that our school system is what sets us apart, but they want to feel reassured that its multi-million budget is not taken for granted.

Teachers: After their families, our teachers are often the most important part of our children’s daily lives. I would work hard to make sure their views are represented, and to make Sudbury Public Schools a place that the best teaching professionals choose to pursue their careers. I will assure those who care so much about our children are being rewarded with the most enriching atmosphere possible.

Administration: We need an efficient and well-run administration in order for our schools to thrive. I want to be a partner that helps administrative leaders, especially when difficult circumstances arise. I don’t think it’s enough to “voice support.” I want to be an SPSC member who shows up, rolls up their sleeves and helps identify positive solutions that serve all of our stakeholders well.

I believe it is important for the taxpayers to know that I truly have the best interests of the town in mind. I have faithfully attended many town meetings including the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, L-S School Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals and SPSC among others since I moved to town four years ago. The bottom line is I care about our community and our schools.

In summary, I want to assure you that I am not running for SPSC again for my personal agenda or to avenge a loss two years ago. I am running for SPSC to give people a voice. A voice that thinks this committee should and can represent the interests of the people who elected it. The current committee should be commended for their commitment to serve our town and more importantly our children. Holding a position on any town committee requires a significant amount of hours and hard work and for that, we should all be grateful.

But if you elect me to serve you, I promise that I will work to improve transparency, ask hard questions, listen openly to all concerns and hopefully make you feel that the interests of everyone in Sudbury are well represented. If elected, one of my first objectives is to implement my own personal monthly office hours. I will set aside a minimum of two hours every month where I will be at the SPS administrative building and be available to any and all who seek face-to-face communication. I will post these hours in advance through our local news sources and invite any member of the above stakeholders to come in a voice their concerns. I vow to handle each person’s concerns as if they are my own and help provide a response or solution to their concern within a 1-2 week time period.

In the meantime, I welcome any members of the key stakeholder groups to let me know your thoughts and ideas for improving SPSC. I am happy to keep conversations confidential, and know that I will learn from many differing viewpoints.

Respectfully,

Scott Nassa

36 Clark Lane

 

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