This letter was submitted to uptdaily by MURSD school committee write-in candidate Grace Maneri.
Hi friends and friends of friends,
As you may have read in the recent Upton Town Crier, there will be a vacant Upton seat on the School Committee this spring. I have entertained the idea of serving on this committee in the past, and I am now going forth as a write-in candidate. I hope you can support me by writing in my name on the line on the ballot on election day.
Most of you are aware that I am a high school English teacher and department chair who has worked in education most of my life. I have attended conferences across the country to deepen my understanding of state and federal educational mandates and provide training to other teachers. My M.Ed. is in Organizational Management, a degree I obtained while pursuing my high school principal/ assistant principal licensure. When Mendon Upton needed a new Superintendent of Schools, I volunteered to help select that person. The candidate we proposed, Mr. Maruszczak, and the current school committee members have been working hard to move MU schools forward. I would like to work with the committee to help our district realize its goals.
Lesser known facts about my past include that I was also a Director of Placement for ITT Technical Institute for over five years, and I was the Vocational Director of Alternatives Unlimited for over four years. These positions helped me develop a knowledge base and skill set outside of the academic arena, but very relevant to it. While at ITT, I was in daily contact with employers gaining an in depth understanding of their needs and expectations from recent grads. These same needs and expectations are being stressed in education today as “21st Century Skills” or skills for “College and Careers.” Alternatives Unlimited is a not for profit agency providing support to individuals with developmental and psychiatric disabilities. As the vocational director, I was responsible for matching these individuals with appropriate day programs or employment in the community. Here I acquired an understanding and appreciation of the complexities attached to the sensitive area of Special Education, another key topic in education today.
My return to public education 14 years ago, was not a whim; it was an act of conscience. I believe that we must give our students the tools necessary to become thinking, communicating, participating members of society. While there are many who have become jaded by current social, political and economic events, I have only deepened my resolve that the answers lie within us to provide stability and creativity for our future.
Thank you for your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Most respectfully yours,