Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gianna Allentuck, Announces Candidacy for June Election

This announcement was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz blog by Gianna Allentuck- candidate for Longmeadow School Commitee.

Newly appointed Longmeadow School Committee Member, Educator, and Community Advocate, Gianna (Pedace) Allentuck, announced her candidacy for Longmeadow School Committee and will appear on the June 11, 2019 election ballot.


“As a newly appointed member of the School Committee, I am motivated by serving our students, schools, and community with positive and purposeful leadership; and am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from insightful and impassioned students, families, educators, administrators, and citizens - along with knowledgeable and dedicated Committee colleagues - in considering and resolving issues, and in recognizing and celebrating successes,” said Allentuck.

In her bid for one of the three available one-year terms, Allentuck emphasizes her belief that education is the foundation for life; and shared her vision for her work on the School Committee with three key objectives:

“I am focused on fostering positivity, connectivity and productivity; supporting collaboration, communication and evidence-based decision-making; and engaging with residents regarding how the work of the Committee supports our town – and especially our children.”

Allentuck also expressed: “Longmeadow residents deserve a School Committee that considers and responds to the voice of the people by deliberating and making fact-based decisions in the best interest of the community.  As an active school leader, respected team member, and experienced school counselor, I strive for this balance daily in dealing with complex issues and situations - often involving differing perspectives and a need for compromise in effecting resolution.”

During the interview process for appointment to the School Committee, Allentuck submitted several letters of refere nce from friends, neighbors, and local educational, civic, and community leaders who describe her as a loving parent; humble, positive, encouraging, reflective; serious thought to questions and matters before her; courageous advocate for children; keen listener; willingness to function as a member of a team; definition of engaged citizen and educator; dedicated professional [with an] amazing ability to drive results; informed and experienced voice to the discussions and decision-making process; and at the heart of it all is Gianna’s dedication to doing what is right for Longmeadow.

With her School Committee service and professional and personal experience in mind, Allentuck assured, “I am confident that I have the skills necessary to further School Committee efforts in helping Longmeadow Public Schools build upon our foundation of excellence…”

About Gianna (Pedace) Allentuck 
For twelve years, Gianna Allentuck has lived in Longmeadow with her husband Lee and two school-age children Sontino and Cecelia.  She is a parent and coach in Longmeadow; a leader and Adjustment Counselor for a Springfield public school; an active education advocate and community volunteer; and President of a local non-profit providing programs and activities for youth in Springfield.  As a School Committee Member, Gianna is the Williams Middle School representative, the Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow (SEAL) representative, and a member of the Policy Subcommittee.  In all her roles, Gianna is positive, collaborative, and dedicated to the advocacy of education and the service of others.

For further information on Gianna Allentuck, please contact her at  or check out her Facebook page Gianna Allentuck for Longmeadow School Committee.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Susan Bell- Candidate for Longmeadow School Committee

This post was submitted by Susan Bell- Candidate for Longmeadow School Committee- Candidate for the 3 year vacancy.

My interest in serving on the Longmeadow School Committee stems from my experience as a public school educator for the last 17 years, most recently serving as the Superintendent of the Windsor Locks Public Schools from 2014-2018. As a result of my governance experience serving the Windsor Locks Board of Education, I have a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities that a school board faces. It is my intent to collaborate with students, parents, community, district faculty and administration and school committee stakeholders to support the great work already happening in our schools. My focus on the school committee is to attend to the key aspects of our role - to present a balanced and reasonable operating budget each school year, to promote and support the implementation and effectiveness of district improvement plans, and to consider and deliberate on policy decisions that impact the day to day work of our schools and learning of our children. 

In July of 2018, I transitioned to a new role as Director of Member Engagement for the Mastery Transcript Consortium, an international non-profit organization serving 280+ schools (mostly U.S. public and independent schools) that seeks to reinvent how schools prepare students for college, career, and life, by developing a transcript that demonstrates the unique achievements and profile of every single graduate. This position allows me to work remotely and spend more time with my family (my husband, David, and my children, ages nine and five), while at the same time promoting the educational changes so needed across the country and around the world.

Priorities for School Committee
While the Longmeadow Public Schools are certainly ranked among the best schools in the state and across the country, we are facing challenges that could potentially undermine that great reputation and our mission for student learning. Of primary concern is ensuring that our students have the most necessary skills needed to navigate the complex world in which we find ourselves. Skills such as innovation, collaboration, the ability to be agile and thoughtful in considering multiple avenues to solving problems, among other key interdisciplinary skills, must be at the forefront of learning and assessment in our schools. LHS is on its way to ensuring all students achieve those skills as they approach the New England Association of Schools and Colleges process, and it’s certainly my hope that we focus on these key skills across all grade levels – ensuring that students engage in authentic, real-world learning experiences at every level. Developing opportunities for learning beyond the walls of our brick-and-mortar schools and partnering with community organizations to fulfill this goal is an avenue worth pursuing for the deeper learning needs of our students.

Equally as important is focusing on our students’ physical and mental health with the same attention we pay to their academic success. This is a priority of the school district, but this point cannot be understated; in so many schools across the country, the incidences of anxiety and stress are considerable, the impact of social media and fast-paced technology advances seemingly insurmountable. These are large problems that must be tackled by partnering with the community to understand how we can create both home and learning environments that support students in being holistically successful, which includes feeling physically and emotionally well.

From an operations and financial perspective, we must also address the condition of our middle schools – a matter recently attended to by the School Committee and Select Board with the submission of another Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). While Longmeadow has not yet met with success in its mission to seek support and state funding from the state, we must continue to investigate any opportunities for improving the middle school educational environments.

We are likely all aware that, as a community, we face considerable fiscal challenges that will need to be addressed as we approach the tax ceiling. The members of the School Committee and the Select Board must work together with other town committees to find solutions that reduce costs but at the same time ensure that our students, in particular, experience optimal levels of learning to ensure their future success. 

Despite these challenges, the future of the Longmeadow Public Schools is certainly bright. Working together with the current school committee members, parents and the community, students, faculty, administration and staff, we can tackle the challenges ahead of us to ensure that all students of our public schools gain the skills, knowledge, attributes and dispositions they need to learn, grow, thrive, and contribute positively to our larger society. 

Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership
University of Hartford

Master of Education, School Counselor Education
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Susan Bell

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Mark Gold seeks Re-election to Longmeadow Select Board

This letter was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz blog by Mark Gold who is running for re-election to the Longmeadow Select Board..

Dear Town Resident,

I’m writing to ask for your vote in the June 11th election for the Longmeadow Select Board.

For the past ten years I’ve been privileged to serve the residents of Longmeadow on the Select Board.  During that service I’ve amassed a list of accomplishments of which I am extremely proud – including holding down taxes, negotiating cost-saving contracts and leading the effort that won a multi-million-dollar casino mitigation settlement.  I take pride in being the most prepared member of the Select Board, making sure the right questions are asked of town department heads and outside petitioners alike.

Over the coming years the town will be facing the Proposition 2½ tax cap.  I bring an understanding and experience about the town’s budget and finances that are unequaled on the Select Board, knowledge that will set direction for addressing that issue.  I initiated and have pressed the pursuit of the purchase the Town’s streetlights as a means of to enable the savings of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars per year.

As the town initiates a search for its third town manager, the experience, independent thinking, and balanced decision making that I bring to the Select Board are essential attributes of the next members of the Select Board.

If you have time and have questions, please listen to my responses to important questions at the recent LCTV sponsored Select Board Candidate forum.

I ask for your vote on Election Day, Tuesday, June 11th. 

Mark Gold