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Reading thrives on open-minded engaged volunteers. Many thanks to all of you for your time and effort to make our community a great place to live, work, worship, and raise a family. The election on April 6th affords us an opportunity to elect two volunteers to the School Committee who have been engaged on different school and town committees: DR. GEOFFREY CORAM and SHAWN BRANDT. I have known both for years and have been continually impressed by their ability to analyze difficult problems and come up with viable solutions. I will be casting my two votes for them. The Reading Public Schools and our town will benefit from their expertise, dedication, experience, and whole child/ whole town focus.
GEOFFREY CORAM and SHAWN BRANDT have manifest fair and informed judgment, even in a world that has become polarized and fraught with decisions that pit personal preference against the common good. No decisions have been easy, which is why it is so important to elect the right volunteers to our town government. Both GEOFFREY and SHAWN have exemplified their ability to weigh the needs of each of our citizens along with the needs of our community and include both in their ultimate recommendations.
Along with being appointed as an interim member of the School Committee a short time ago, GEOFFREY CORAM has dedicated his time and expertise to many other committees and projects including treasurer of three PTOs, set build coordinator for the Reading Memorial High School Drama Club, Budget Parent, and a constant active contributor to School Committee deliberations whether on or off the committee. As part of his contributions, he has been highly involved in and understands the budget process.
Before being elected to the School Committee last year, SHAWN BRANDT was a member of the Finance Committee, continually striving to support the schools with the realistic economic understanding of the town in mind. Recently, I have worked with Shawn around Human Rights and he has manifested the same level-headed ability to mediate difficult discussions and speak his mind, even when his colleagues are focused on singular aspects of a decision.
Both GEOFFREY CORAM and SHAWN BRANDT have taken their responsibilities seriously, gone the extra mile to understand the situations at hand, and been creative in the solutions they have suggested. The time and effort they have invested, along with their ability to listen, analyze complicated situations, and express their thoughts has always impressed me. Whether they agree with the administration’s recommendation, my analysis, or popular opinion, they ask the tough questions and seek the best solution, not necessarily the popular one or the one that most benefits their family.
When I was leaving the School Committee last year after my six years of service, I actually asked GEOFFREY and SHAWN if they would consider running for School Committee. I was thrilled that SHAWN threw his hat into the ring and after he was elected, I was impressed by his level-headed approach to all of this years’ difficult and unprecedented challenges. It has been a tough year, to say the least.
Although last year was not the right time for GEOFFREY to increase his involvement, he has continued to be an active constituent, asking important questions and sharing suggestions and solutions via public comment and social media. I am thrilled that this year, he is able to commit to the challenging and vital work necessary for our schools and community.
Thank you again to all of our volunteers who do the work, and to our local news media who share the information to keep us all informed. We could not run this town without you!
Please take the time to educate yourself on all three of the dedicated candidates who are running for School Committee and whether you share my opinion on these candidates or not, please join me in voting on April 6th.
Linda Snow Dockser
110 Beaver Road
Reading, MA 01867