Monday, June 1, 2015

Republican Town Commitee Holds Candidate Forums

The following information was submitted by the Longmeadow Republican Town Committee

The Longmeadow Republican Town Committee continued the candidate forums with the School Committee Candidates, Michelle Grodsky, Russ Dupere, and Katie Girard. Michelle and Katie are current members of the School Committee and this will be Russ’ first time on the School committee. Each of the candidates gave a short presentation and answered questions about budgeting, curriculum, and the future of the schools.

Michelle Grodsky emphasized her experience as a teacher especially in programs for high achieving students.  She described courses and curriculum she would like to see taught in the elementary schools. Another area of concern for Ms. Grodsky is the uniformity of curriculum across the district. She has seen progress in the area, but would like to see more. Michelle believes that working together with the Select Board is essential for successful budgeting in the future. Michelle stated; “I have worked hard to ensure fairness, thoughtfulness, and transparency were part of every discussion, every process and every decision. I believe every parent and every child should have a voice in our decisions and have used my position as a School Committee member to represent them when they are unable to speech for themselves.”

Russ Dupere discussed his experience as an educational attorney. He has worked with schools and school committees across the Commonwealth.  He believes his experience will be valuable to the School Committee because though we are one of the top rated school districts now it is easy to slip into providing a lower standard of education. He will help keep the schools on course.  Russ also described his experience with teachers’ unions would be valuable to future negotiations and communications with the teachers. If elected he stated he would work closely with the Select Board and other committees to develop long range fiscal plans.

Katie Girard is running on her experience on the School Committee and the fact that she is the only member of the School Committee who is actively teaching. Katie’s specialty is special education. She believes that Longmeadow’s special education program is a key component on what makes Longmeadow schools great schools. She would like to work in creating more collaboration between the schools and the community by creating more opportunities for partnerships. Katie stated; “I want to continue to ensure all students receive exceptional educations, regardless of what challenges they bring to the classroom."

The candidate forums ended with lively discussions on educational issues in our country and in our town.  All the candidates stayed after the meeting to answer questions.

The Longmeadow Republican Town Committee meets every second Wednesday of the month in Greenwood Center.  If you are interested in coming or more information contact Tass Angelides,

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