Incumbent Lynn School Committee member John Ford is running for re-election in this year's municipal elections. Ford has worked as a Legislative Aide for State Representative Steven Walsh since 2010. Additionally, he currently serves on the Executive Boards for Communities that Care and Lynn Food and Fitness Coalition and on the Board of Directors for Children and Family Services, Building Bridges through Music and Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Mass. Here he answers a few questions regarding his candidacy for another term on the School Committee.
Why have you decided to run for another term on the Lynn School Committee?
The primary reason for running for re-election is that I enjoy being on the committee and believe that I make a positive contribution/impact. I have two daughters that teach in Lynn and listen to and attempt to respond to their comments. I have done a lot of coaching and enjoy interaction with kids. I am constantly amazed at the adversity some of these children deal with and rise above and I want to be part of this and help.
Lynn has been among one of the best of the Commissioner’s urban districts in terms of MCAS scores and other academic indicators. How would you describe the current state of LPS overall in terms of its educational quality and academic performance?
There are 9 Commissioner's Districts (Lynn, Worcester, Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, Lowell, Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield). These are the communities that we should be compared to due to demographics. In 2012, Lynn ranked #1 in ELA and #2 in math (0.7% from 1st). Based on 14,000 students and the myriad of issues confronting LPS (lack of class space, new student influx, SPED issues, language, budgetary constraints, etc.) I believe that we are doing a great job when you compare us to cities with similar issues. As with any system of this size there are always areas that can be improved upon and I think that the administration does a good job addressing those matters.
What do you believe to be the role of the School Committee in overseeing and improving the city’s public education system? How do you believe that you have fulfilled your duties as an SC member thus far?
The primary role as addressed in the DOE guidelines is to support the efforts of the Superintendent. I believe that the administration is more adept at running day to day activities than I am. I consider it my responsibility to respond to parent/teacher concerns and any issues/situations that I feel warrants further clarification.
How would you describe the frequency and depth of your personal interactions with parents, teachers, students and community members regarding any concerns they may have regarding LPS? Could you improve in this area?
I have always prided myself on an immediate response to anyone who calls on a school issue. I am always accessible. I talk often to teachers and to parents when approached. I am very visible. I visit the schools, attend a myriad of school functions and I am in daily contact with school administration to keep abreast of issues. As with anything, I can always improve. I am available to anyone who wishes to reach me.
Where can voters get more information on your candidacy and learn more about you?
I am currently in the process of updating my Facebook page to reflect my candidate information.
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