EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 1, 2013

Eight running for six School Committee seats

Eight candidates are running for six Methuen School Committee seats in the Nov. 5 election. Following is a Q&A with them.

Rick Beshara

Age: 59

Address: 9 Marshall St.

Occupation: Retired principal; currently teaching at Presentation of Mary Academy

Education: B.S. elementary education, M. Ed. in reading and language, M.Ed. in school administration

Personal: Married to Mary-Ellen Smith for 37 years, daughter Erin and husband Rob Prindle, son Brad and wife Gisette Cabrera, five grandchildren.

What is the biggest issue facing the School Department?

I have been stating throughout the campaign that I don’t think Methuen schools market ourselves very well. We need to improve public relations by promoting the many innovative and exciting things that are currently happening in our schools. This can be done with administration and alumni working together.

How can MCAS scores be improved?

I think our school system is taking the necessary steps to move our students forward. By having uniform schedules that include enrichment and remediation classes during the school day will begin to improve our scores. Also, the continuation of tutors for reading and math are necessary.

Which, if any, school services should be combined with city services? Why, or if none, why not?

At this current time I don’t feel I have enough information to make a formative decision. As the budget process begins and the School Committee looks for areas to free up monies, I’m sure the discussion of consolidating services will be reviewed.

How would you rate the school administration’s performance? How would you improve it?

I feel the current school administration is moving our city in the right direction. Under the supervision of Superintendent Judy Scannell, the team is making decisions with the best interest of children in mind. We need to keep moving forward and making decisions for children.

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