Monday, August 7, 2017

Lynn School Committee 2017 Q & A: Natasha Megie-Maddrey

Natasha Megie-Maddrey is one of ten candidates vying for one of the six seats on the Lynn School Committee. Here Natasha discusses some of the major issues facing LPS and why Lynn voters should cast their vote for her in November. 

            You previously ran for School Committee in 2015. How have you stayed involved in public education  related activities since then and why did you decide to run again?

I have always been really involved in my children’s schools, as part of the PTO’s and helping in whatever way I can. I’ve also participated in several community events including community build days, clean up days, and the May Day March, to name a few. I have also talked to several parents over the last two years, many of which are concerned about communication, bullying, safety, and special needs. I decided to run again because I want to teach my children that it doesn’t matter if you fail at something, it matters how you get back up. I want to be a public servant and help to bring about positive change to the Lynn Public Schools.

Funding for the Lynn Public School district has been a key issue in recent years. What are your thoughts on the school systems current financial state and ways it could potentially be addressed?

The Lynn Public Schools should be funded at 100 percent, and anything less than that is simply unacceptable. I think this problem can be addressed by applying for more grants, and getting more money into our school system. The children are the future and we need to fully fund education.

There have been a few contentious votes recently in regard to education including the Question 2 ballot vote on charter schools and the Lynn vote to build a new Pickering Middle School. How would you approach taking a stance on issues that might be polarizing within a given community as an elected official?

I think it is very important to have community meetings when there are issues that might be polarizing within a given community.  It is also important to respond to voter’s emails and phone calls in a timely manner. I will always take a stance that is in the best interest of all the children in Lynn. I voted in favor of building a new Pickering Middle School. Clearly we needed to do more research into the location, but the Pickering Middle School is in disrepair and needs to be repaired or replaced. We also need to do a better job at maintaining our schools so they don’t fall into such disrepair. 

If you could spearhead any one initiative related to LPS, what would it be and why? Can voters expect actual leadership on this issue from you, if you were to be elected to the Lynn School Committee? 

If I could spearhead one initiative it would be special needs advocacy. I have two children with special needs, and through my own experiences, I have learned how hard the special needs system is to navigate. I want to have several know your rights seminars for parents and caregivers to ensure that students that need IEP’s (individual education plans) get them, and once they get them, to make sure they are being followed. Parents and caregivers are the best advocates for their children, but they must be given the tools in order to know how to best advocate for their children.

Why should voters consider voting for you for Lynn School Committee?

I am running for school committee because I want to be a voice for parents and fight for the education all the children in Lynn deserve. As a parent of 5 children ages 10-21, I have a vested interest in ensuring that we are providing not just a good education, but an excellent education regardless of the particular zip code you happen to live in. I will be a tireless advocate, and will be responsive, and always vote in favor of what would be best for all the children in Lynn.

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