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November 1, 2013

Methuen School Committee candidates weigh in on having kids in city schools

(Continued)

“Being a parent of children in the district adds value, but people definitely bring their different values with them,” said Bryan Sweet, a parent of two Methuen graduates. Sweet is a challenger running for one of the six School Committee seats up for election.

Vogler said a it is a fine perspective to have on the committee, but many parents cannot run because they are too busy. And the key to being a successful member of the committee is to be involved with all the schools, whether with one’s own children or through the work of the committee.

“The key is how active you are,” he said. “You’re not representing your kids, you’re representing 7,000 kids. What’s best for all the kids is what you have to concern yourself with.”

Deeb, who teaches at Reading High School, Bunker Hill Community College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, said professional experience brings an important perspective as well. “I’m a career educator, and it’s important to have that perspective as well,” he said. “It’s important to have the representation of the community paying the bills to make sure we’re providing the best opportunities to our children.”

Beshara emphasizes his experience as a former administrator, most recently as principal of Marsh Grammar School. Vogler was a teacher for years. Fawcett was a teacher and administrator in Methuen. Sweet points out that he manages a budget at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Last week, in response to an Eagle-Tribune story about the debate between School Committee members that reported little difference in their answers, Kumm tweeted: “Little difference between Methuen school comm. candidates? How many w/ kids in MPS right now? Parent’s perspective vital!”

Evan Chaisson, a young three-term member of the committee who does not have children, tweeted in reply: “Having kids in the district should not carry any weight in this election.”

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