Dear Friends and Neighbors,
First, I would like to acknowledge the service of retiring members Margaret Albright, Bridget Ray Canada, Matthew Miller and former Chair, Ruth Goldman particularly through the course of this pandemic where they spent an incredibly exhausting amount of time and emotional energy ensuring that our students and staff were well poised to weather our current storm.
Said storm has already been well covered, so I would like to focus my remarks instead, on trust. Specifically, the awesome weight of the trust that the residents of this amazing city have bestowed on all of the elected officials on this stage. You have placed in our hands the responsibility, the duty, the authority to exercise our best judgement and faithfully uphold your thrust in every decision we make, every vote we cast and every policy that we implement. For that trust we owe you a great deal in return. We owe you the promise to cast aside politics, or strife or division and to come together in stewardship of your trust and your funds and to do so with dignity, and candor and grace fully embracing the fact that our different perspectives enrich rather than detract from our role.
As the Chair of the Newton School Committee, I make this promise to my fellow School Committee members, Rajeev, Chris, Anping, Emily, Paul, Kathy and Cove, that I will do my best to guide our committee with openness and respect for your perspectives and lived experiences as we work together to maintain and continuously improve the reputation for academic excellence and the commitment to equity that is the Newton Public Schools. To all of you, I feel confident in saying that we, as a committee, promise to uphold your trust, to defend as necessary our educators from baseless or racist attack, to give our students the resources needed to thrive and to collectively act in the best interest of the students, parents, guardians, faculty and staff of our excellent, excellent schools.
It’s said that in times of hardship, the public trust becomes an even more precious commodity. If you accept that as true, as I do, then it’s understood that we must all work diligently, tirelessly, to preserve that trust and in that way, we will weather this or any storm.