Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of Q + A articles profiling each candidate in the preliminary city elections scheduled for
The following are responses from School Committee incumbent Stephen Rando Jr., who is seeking another term.
The questions were posed by Waltham Patch and the answers have only been edited for clarity and readability.
Other candidates include: incumbent Margaret Donnelly, John Graceffa, Edmund Tarallo, Alice Taylor, David Mataybyas and John Frassica II.
The election will eliminate one candidate leaving six for the November ballot.
Current Employment: I am a retired educator having given 38 years of service to the City of Waltham. Actually, I feel that education is something you don't retire from. I am always eager to learn, grow, listen and proud to be a present member of the Waltham School Committee.
What is your professional background?: My professional background includes being an educator in the Waltham Public Schools for 38 years. During that time, I was a teacher, coordinator of the Adult Basic and Civic Education Program, Director of the Waltham Evening School, teaching assistant principal, assistant principal and principal of the former Bright Elementary School.
Why are you running for School Committee?:
I am again running for the Waltham School Committee because I feel that being a Waltham parent, teacher, administrator, principal and now a school committee member, I know what works and what doesn't work in Waltham. I have a working knowledge of the Waltham School system and I know what should be cut and what shouldn't. I have a rapport with the principals, teachers and all staff members and they confide in me.
Parents are aware of my availability and confidentially. I always take phone calls from parents regarding their concerns and always follow through to completion. Also, as a parent of four children who attend Waltham schools and now, as a grandfather of eight children, four of whom presently attend Waltham schools, I have a vested interest in the school system. As I have always done in the past 38 years of teaching and years served on the Waltham School Committee, I will continue to do what is best for all the children of Waltham, yours and mine.
How are your skills useful for representing constituents?:
As I stated previously, my skills lie in education. I am an educator who has been in the classroom and experienced all that teachers, parents and students are feeling today. Also, being a parent, a grandparent whose grandchildren presently attend Waltham schools, and as an educator, I have a working knowledge of what works in Waltham and what doesn't work. Over the years I have developed a congenial relationship with parents and all school staff members and they interact well with me. They trust me and express their concerns openly.
If elected, what issues would be your biggest priority and why?: I have several priorities of which safety is at the forefront. If a child does not feel safe, learning will not take place. Many years ago, as a principal of the former Bright Elementary School, I introduced "no bullying" as part of the school's improvement plan. As long as I am on the Waltham School Committee, bullying will not be tolerated in Waltham.
Also, among my priorities are health, class size, test scores, and developing good morale among all staff members, all factors which contribute to a good education.
Why should voters re-elect you when you have already served for several years?:
I feel I should be re-elected to the Waltham School Committee because I know the Waltham School system inside and out.
I have a working knowledge of Waltham's past and present curricula, what does and doesn't work. The community knows what I stand for.
I worked successfully to get defibrillators into all of the Waltham schools, I saw the importance of seatbelts on our buses and voted in favor of such an action. I was supportive of full-time nurses in all our schools. I will continue to have safety of your children always on my mind. I will work to strengthen educational meetings of teachers to benefit the educational system. I will monitor Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) on MCAS exams, test scores and will fight to have equity in all of our schools.
I believe I have proved to the community that I truly care!