The following article has been submitted by Geoffrey Coram for School Committee
Dear Reading Voters:
I am asking for your support for my election to School Committee. The Reading Public Schools have done an excellent job of educating my daughters, and I would like to help ensure that excellence for current and future students.
I have already served – briefly – on the School Committee: I was selected for an interim position in February 2019. I believe that selection was due to my extensive involvement with the budget process, both as PTO Treasurer for twelve years and as a Budget Parent for four years. I was PTO Treasurer at Birch Meadow, Coolidge, and RMHS, so I have worked with principals and seen some of the financial needs at all three levels.
The most significant action during my tenure on School Committee was a vote to ratify the selection of Dr. Jennifer Stys as Director of Student Services. She presented herself as a collaborative administrator, and I believe her first year and a half on the job has fulfilled that promise. Her recommendation to add the Special Education Literacy Coach to the budget for next year fills a clear need for the district. Special Education is an area I’d like to learn more about, so I have attended recent SEPAC meetings. I look forward to working with Dr. Stys to further address special education needs.
Another experience I personally found valuable was METCO Advocacy Day on Beacon Hill, which took place during my short time on School Committee. I joined a delegation from Reading and Boston that met with Reading’s state representatives to convey the message that Reading supports the METCO program. I will take similar actions to support the students of the Reading Public Schools if I am elected.
My wife and I moved here 20 years ago after I finished my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at MIT. We were looking for a home close to my job at Analog Devices in Wilmington and chose Reading primarily for its schools. Our two daughters have gone through the Reading Public School system; our younger is a senior at RMHS this year.
Although my children thrived in the RPS system, I understand and appreciate that other students have different experiences. As a set build volunteer for the RMHS Drama Club for five years, I observed many students with passions outside of textbooks and exams. I have seen different perspectives on student success in the documentaries “Race to Nowhere” and “Most Likely to Succeed.” The latter showed a school with a strong project-based curriculum; RMHS juniors get a taste of this with “Real-World Problem Solving,” which I was privileged to observe as a judge last year. I look forward to meeting RPS’s new superintendent, Thomas Milaschewski; I believe my experiences and insight would be a valuable resource during his transition into the district.
I hope you will give me the opportunity to continue supporting the Reading Public Schools and the children of our town as a member of the School Committee. I would appreciate your vote in the Reading town election on April 6, 2021.