Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lynn School Committee 2015 Q & A: Natasha Megie-Maddrey

In this year's Lynn School Committee race, there are eight candidates running for the six committee seats. Newcomer Natasha Megie-Maddrey, a Lynn parent, is a candidate in this year's race. Here, Megie-Maddrey answers a few questions regarding her candidacy for SC.

Why are you running for School Committee?

My name is Natasha Megie-Maddrey and I am running for School Committee. I am also a local attorney, with a passion for education. I have lived in Lynn for 17 years. I have 4 wonderful children, and have been married for 13 years. Being a homeowner and a parent, I have a vested interest in the education of our children, not just some of our children, but all the children in Lynn regardless of what school they attend. All children should have not just a good education, but a great education. As an actively engaged parent, I have been a part of several community groups including; LPOBE [Editor's Note: LPOBE = Lynn Parents Organizing for a Better Education], the PTO at Cobbet, the School Improvement Committee at Cobbet, FAKT, and many others. Being a part of these groups has taught me a lot, but most of all, I have learned that advocacy is the key to success. Parents are the best advocates. Parents deserve a voice at the table, and I want to be that voice. I want to bring your voice to the conversation. I have met several parents that are afraid to speak up about problems in the schools,I want to give these parents a voice. The issues I want to improve include: Parent Involvement, 100 Percent Funding to the schools, Implementing Community Schools, and Effective Communication. I want to make a difference in Lynn and that is why I am running for School Committee.

Describe the knowledge and abilities that you believe a successful graduate of the Lynn Public Schools should possess. 
I have had the pleasure of meeting many new graduates. I believe that a successful graduate would be someone who is self-sufficient, able to work on their own, and has the ability to multi-task and accomplish what they set out to. Some job experience would be beneficial as well. A successful graduate would be a well-rounded student, someone who is not only book smart but street smart. Someone who understands where they came from, and wants to give back to their community. My nephew is 18, and just started his senior year of high school. He is a very independent and smart young man. He is currently applying for colleges, and has support from his teachers, his guidance counselors and his family. It is important that when Lynn students graduate from high school they are able to attend college, land a decent job in their chosen field and then become homeowners here in Lynn.

The Lynn Public School System is currently underfunded by $15 million. Given the city's financial constraints, do you think the focus should be on seeking waivers for this deficit and changes to the net school spending language or finding ways to increase revenue and allocate more money toward public education?
I believe that seeking waivers for the deficit is not the best solution. We simply cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend this problem doesn’t exist. Our children are too important to just ignore. 15 million dollars is a lot of money. That money could be used to provide a paid librarian in each of our schools. Currently most of the elementary schools do not have a paid librarian. We need to provide affordable after school care for all children. Several schools need new books, and supplies. To short change our children by more than 15 million dollars is a shame.

The children are the future of this city, and if we don’t invest in them, then what will Lynn look like in 20 years? I believe we should be finding ways to increase revenue and allocate more money toward public education. We should have a grant committee to work on writing numerous grants in order to get more revenue in the city and the schools. I honestly believe that the schools should be funded at 100 percent. Anything less than that is unacceptable. If our schools are not properly funded, the children are the ones that lose out.

In your opinion, are the issues facing public education overall similar or different from the educational issues being discussed nationally? How so?
In my opinion, the issues facing public education in Lynn are overall similar to the issues being discussed nationally. The campaign for more learning and less testing is definitely being discussed nationally. Are we over testing our children? Yes I believe we are, as a nation education should be more hands on and fun for children. My children are more than just a test score. Teachers should be allowed more freedom to be creative in the classroom, and make learning more fun. I want my children to wake up and be excited about going to school.

Why should Lynn residents cast their vote for you on November 3rd? 

Lynn residents should cast their vote for me, because I will work hard every day to ensure that Lynn’s educational system is improved. I will be approachable and will take the time to call people back. A parent’s voice is the key to success, and that is why I am respectfully asking you for one of your six votes on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Please make your vote count. 


For more information on Natasha Megie-Maddrey, she can be contacted by email at natashamegie@gmail.com or phone at 617-755-3853. 

You can also follow her campaign on Facebook: www.facebook/#!/TeamMegieMaddrey

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