The most pressing issue is the construction of a new high school. The current facilities do not meet the demands of our growing city and is at risk for accreditation. As city councillor, I would work with the school committee, school board, and mayor’s office to identify the roadblocks that are preventing the city from making use of the best location for the new high school, and work collaboratively to make progress towards actually getting the best location. I’m open to other perspectives, but from my own research, the Stigmatine site is the best potential location that is under consideration. The previous proposal was prepared solely by the Fathers at Stigmatine was dismissed by Rome, but I believe that a collaborative proposal where all parties can state their needs and make a compromise will be the best move forward.
The Fernald buildings have historical restrictions and suffer from mold due to the wetlands they were built on, and the high school’s current location is simply too small, and would have a detrimental impact on the children of Waltham for the 3+ years that construction will occur. Furthermore, Fernald will be best used to remember the lives of those that lived on the property and the those who were lost as Councillor Darcy has suggested.
Outside of the new high school site issue, I want to better understand the needs of the students and their families at Waltham public schools, and to identify the kind of support educators need from the city. I will cultivate relationships with and solicit policy feedback from parents and teachers.
As a professional in the tech industry, I have a strong interest in the amount of exposure to STEAM fields -- particularly computer science, coding, and engineering -- that Waltham schools provide to our diverse student population. Expertise in these fields can lead to lucrative opportunities in some of our country’s most booming industries. I believe society at large will benefit from an influx of diverse perspectives into STEAM fields, as people of color, women, and people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds adapt technology to address problems that are invisible to (or ignored by) the largely white, male, wealthy technologists that dominate the industry today.