Maria Carrasco, a longtime resident of Lynn and community leader, currently serves on the Lynn School Committee and is now running for re-election. Please see below for the answers to a few questions posed to the incumbent seeking another term on the LSC.
Q: What skills or qualifications do you think you would bring to the school committee?
Carrasco: I was a teacher for 15 years back in my native country. I couldn’t utilize my degree in education once I relocated here due to my lack of English. But I strongly believe that when you are a teacher you will continue being a teacher for the rest of your life and so I began teaching adults.
Q: What do you think are the top 3 issues that school committee needs to address? Do you have any thoughts/solutions to these issues?
- Youth violence
There is also a need for increased quality after school and prevention programs. Many students derive from a single parent household with the parent working multiple jobs. With additional programs, they will have a safe place to go.
- Parent involvement
We need to find a way to make our parents feel welcome and to understand that they are a fundamental part of their children’s education. By implementing meetings for parents, they can discuss issues, and collaboratively come up with solutions.
- Drop out rate
Lastly, our teachers need to have the necessary tools such as enough academic materials to help them to perform their job. In addition, teachers need to reflect our student population in order to promote an effective learning environment.
Q: How do you think the school committee could be more transparent as far as meeting times, agendas, etc.?
Carrasco: Currently, we have open meetings that are also televised. In addition, we have some information located on the website, although I believe there could be more. According to the superintendent this is currently being worked on. I hope that in the near future, we will see more information regarding education, meetings and exams on the website.
Q: Lynn residents often look to the School Committee to address problems such as low MCAS scores and the dropout rate; do you think there is a limit to what the school committee in itself can do?
Carrasco: Sure we have limits, we can not even visit schools without first asking the superintendent and the principal; I understand that for courtesies we must call the principal, but we also need to ask the superintendent. We hired the superintendent and she is responsible as the head in our district to hire the right people and the principals with the superintendent are in charge of hiring the teachers, so our major job as school committee member is to hire the superintendent and make policies.