Burlington residents going to the polls on April 9 will be questioned to opt for two School Committee associates out of a slate of three candidates: incumbent Christine Monaco and newcomers Jeremy Brooks and Melissa Massardo.
The Burlington Union asked every single candidate 3 thoughts, in buy to assistance people opt for their new agent on the school board. Listed here are their responses, which have been edited for area things to consider and clarity.
Extra:Remaining slate of candidates introduced for Burlington city election
Tell us about your self and why you ought to be elected to serve on the Faculty Committee.
Jeremy Brooks I grew up in Burlington and attended K-12 in the Burlington school technique. I left Burlington in the course of my tour of provider and made a decision to retire back again in the town I grew up in and enjoy. Following my 24 a long time of navy service, I however solution the simply call to serve this time at the community degree. When I surveyed the positions wherever I considered my knowledge and electrical power had been greatest used, turning out to be a college committee member was a pure in good shape. This placement would also provide me with a additional prominent voice in shaping plan and process that straight impression my daughter’s training and the superior of all college students in the Burlington college procedure.
The experiences I have that make me an exceptional applicant are 24 several years as an Air Drive Distinctive Warfare member primary compact and huge multi-provider and multinational businesses. I have championed developing and infrastructure installation tasks. I was selected to create joint navy doctrine and creator education programs that tutorial coaching for approximately 1,200 staff. As an functions manager, I played an instrumental position in delivering for the each day demands of all staff assigned to my models, forecasting and taking care of the units’ multi-million-greenback operations and upkeep budgets. I have a tested undertaking administration track report of delivering assignments on time and within spending plan. I am relaxed handling all facets of a challenge from inception to closeout. Some of the expertise obtained as a project manager are federal appropriations law training, contracting officer specialized agent, and experienced professionals certification.
Christine Monaco: As a prolonged-time member of the School Committee, I am in search of re-election. My partner, Frank, and I moved here to elevate our household following he completed his provider to our country in naval aviation. Our four kids have all returned to Burlington to increase their possess households, and we now have 15 grandchildren in the Burlington College District. They range from preschool to postgraduates.
I have a BA in arithmetic and training, as well as an MBA. I am a trained advocate for families of little ones with specific requirements.
For about a ten years I worked as an educator in the Burlington schools. I have been a member and officer in the PTO at multiple educational institutions. I have also been a member of a lot of town committees like the authentic Recycling Committee, the Incapacity Obtain Fee, Recreation Fee , and Distinctive Training Guardian Advisory Council. I have also served as College Committee liaison to the Find Board, to the Approaches and Suggests Committee, to SEPAC and to the Burlington Educators Association.
As a College Committee member, I am very pleased of our numerous accomplishments like new structures, remarkable main lecturers at just about every stage, point out of the art know-how, award winning audio and art departments, a excellent science heart, novel distinctive education applications, and much far more. Burlington has an excellent college technique, but there is more perform to do. I am fully commited to this operate and to our group.
Melissa Massardo I am a tech savvy, expert project manager with 10 furthermore many years experience controlling intricate, significant-stakes tasks. I am an qualified at taking care of many tasks and making sure their easy execution. My experience arranging limited and long-phrase strategy alternatives in addition competence overseeing large budgets aligns properly with the specifications for a position on our Faculty Committee. I search ahead to leveraging this abilities to travel execution of projects that the college district desires to undertake above the future 10 years as well as creating a tactic to assist the developing and changing needs of the local community.
I am the co-president of an worker source team consisting of working caregivers focused to Range, Equity & Inclusion at Athena well being. I have expended 6 yrs advocating for the desires of ALL caregivers and was instrumental in securing added parental depart, element-time and flexible performing preparations for all personnel. I will benefit from this working experience to help the district make the greatest use of the equity audit benefits.
As a dad or mum with children in the college system for the up coming 15 many years, I convey modern day, forward on the lookout, energetic expertise to the School Committee. As a mum or dad stakeholder myself, I will signify the moms and dads of Burlington learners, several of whom at this time experience underneath-represented. As a member of the School Committee I will work really hard to assure that we continue on to maintain excellence and exceed expectations in Burlington universities.
With the worst of the pandemic, hopefully, behind us, what ought to the College Committee aim on next?
Christine Monaco Priorities for the University Committee are relocating forward with the new Fox Hill School, renovating BHS, and addressing the require for renovation or rebuilding of Pine Glen. We also require to search at short-term methods in some of our buildings to keep the small class measurements that Burlington has set as an academic typical. It is fabulous news that the Fox Hill creating undertaking has been permitted and is underway, but this challenge will be time consuming and complicated. My expertise with the earlier making assignments at Memorial and MSMS will serve me perfectly in viewing the Fox Hill challenge by way of. BHS is a further massive, pricey venture that desires to commence soon, in get to prevent boiler failures or other important difficulties. I will go on to work with the town govt to make this come about. We have a potent economical staff and collectively we will obtain the greatest method to finance the challenge without the need of inserting also considerably burden on our taxpayers. We will perform to suit the expenditures into the current bonding agenda in a fair, manageable way.
In addition to building tasks, I would like to see the School Committee focus on maximizing particular schooling programming, supporting English learners, closing COVID studying gaps with specific Tier 2 initiatives, restoring athletic, extracurricular and community occasions, and expanding social-psychological assist for pupils.
Melissa Massardo Now that we are able to get started to target on the desires of the district past pandemic mastering and restoration, I feel the University Committee wants to emphasis on creating out shorter, medium and lengthy expression infrastructure procedures. For instance, Fox Hill Kindergarten lecture rooms all have 21 learners each individual and IEP eligible pupils are obtaining companies in the hallways. Some K classrooms at other colleges have 12 and 14 college students and lots of available company place. This is the result of not correctly mapping out equally our physical creating/house requirements and shifting enrollment.
At this point, there is finally a start out of a very long term prepare for Fox Hill with the process underway to safe funding for a new university to be crafted. What are the existing quick and medium time period strategies for the college students who are now at Fox Hill? Why weren’t transportable classrooms and likely redistricting needs tackled before 2022 when mom and dad have brought forth these challenges to the School Committee more than at the very least the previous a number of a long time? In addition, it is apparent that there is at present no backup program for funding the large college renovations exterior of constantly resubmitting for MBSA funding that we look highly not likely to acquire. We have a lot of do the job to do and I want to be at the table guiding our city to make the greatest choices for our district.
Jeremy Brooks The Faculty Committee’s most pressing fears are trainer agreement negotiations, renovation projects, their associated finances and community impact, and enhancing committee transparency with the community.
Greater emphasis on finishing the negation course of action is paramount. Having the instructors in the method left with out a functioning agreement will only guide to further more friction in between the BEA and the college committee.
About faculty renovation assignments, a extra upfront entire characterization of what the undertaking entails, the timeline of the venture, and the true expense of these initiatives have to have to be captured and presented to the neighborhood. There is roughly a $60-$80 million funding hole in the money earmarked in the financial debt routine for the upcoming 10 a long time and the true price tag of replacing Fox Hill and rectifying the HVAC situation at the Significant School. This funding gap also does not think about other life cycle expenditures for the system’s structures and infrastructure around the identical time period, which has cascading funds results leaving the university procedure with a sequence of unexpected emergency funding necessities.
Improved clarity can be attained by developing a long-variety calendar that captures 10 to 20 several years of large-amount spending budget drivers these types of as significant renovations, tech refreshes, and substantial servicing charges. The first two many years of that calendar should really capture a far more granular account of price tag motorists, determination points, and milestone situations to retain negotiations on keep track of and on time. On top of that, this calendar would give visibility to plan price range demands just before properties and facilities attain the conclusion of lifetime.
The committee requirements to do a superior position of updating informational webpages on the BPS internet site and furnishing a 30,60, and 90-day outlook on subjects for upcoming conferences to make it possible for the community sufficient direct time to attend conferences about an concern they wish to participate.
What are your goals, need to you turn into a member of the Faculty Committee?
Jeremy Brooks: When elected, my goals are to full and finalize the trainer agreement that is still remarkable and overdue in the shorter term.
As a hybrid limited and medium-phrase goal would be to plot a route forward to complete two gravely desired jobs for the Burlington university system. The building of a new Fox Hill and the substitution of the HVAC method at Burlington Superior Faculty. The speedy obstacle is to safe the good amount of funding. Both equally projects are grossly underfunded in the cash funds system.
As a prolonged-time period intention, I would like to see extra expense in computer system sciences, emphasizing coding, networking, cyber stability, and front and backend internet advancement. Enabling students to abide by a complex path could direct to a talent bridge option with community sector. It offers a way for students who are not looking to take a classic approach to faculty, trade, or the military services an avenue to garner industry-identified certifications that give instant believability to the personal as a professional purveyor of their craft. The techniques will only assist set Burlington students aside.
Melissa Massardo The School Committee should really be proactive rather than reactive. My objectives, under, will modify how the city is in a position to interact with the College Committee. I will use my encounter handling budgets and tasks to transfer ahead a number of strategic designs, like:
- A long term strategy for the substantial faculty
- A brief time period plan to address capability at the elementary faculty stage
- A lengthy time period plan to address a new Fox Hill and over-all elementary school potential and preparing like BECC long term needs
- A quick and extensive expression prepare addressing the transportation demands of Burlington’s students. A renewed concentration on the bus agreement and enhanced engagement with the Risk-free Routes to School program to glimpse at the potential of transportation in Burlington.
- A plan to handle pandemic finding out loss. I guidance the continued use of federal funds and modern answers to guarantee that our youngsters are able to make up for dropped time and meet up with quality-amount specifications. We have to also plan for potential vast-scale interruptions to make sure that our students can proceed to thrive through these issues.
- I strategy to advocate for enhanced transparency and conversation amongst the college administration and households.
Christine Monaco As a member of the School Committee, my priority has constantly been to set college students initial. This applies to all regions of our school committee work – safety and safety, curriculum advancement, social-emotional mastering, COVID recovery, agreement negotiations, arts and athletics, and services. At the very same time, we must be accountable to the taxpayers, and operate our colleges in a fiscally liable way. This is a delicate harmony, and my purpose is to proceed to do the job really hard to keep this stability. I also believe that that it is important to be accessible to parents and community customers. I have answered hundreds of emails, telephone phone calls and Fb messages and will keep on to advocate for people each individual day that I proceed to serve on the University Committee.
My specific objectives for the School Committee above the next term would consist of including two unique schooling applications to help our college students. A person to add or boost numerous looking through programs for our youngest college students, and the other to develop a method for neurodiverse learners at the large faculty. Other goals consist of the significant creating projects forward of us, advancement in technologies in our buildings, and ongoing vigilance with regard to basic safety and safety of our most important useful resource – the students inside these buildings.