That's me with my family out in California last year. I am so thankful for their undying support and love they give me in all of my endeavors. They make me into the best person I can be and I am forever grateful.
My family and I have lived here in Lexington in the same house for 23 years. My wife, Michele, and I have two daughters who have gone through the Lexington Public Schools from Bridge to Clarke to LHS. I was an at-home dad for seven years and then taught preschool for thirteen years at Hancock Nursery School here in town, helping children succeed in their first school experience.
This is why serving on the School Committee is right up my alley. Giving our children what they need to succeed is vital. As a teacher, a town meeting member, and a youth organizer, I have been driven to support families in helping their children succeed – to learn and grow and become well-rounded participants in our community. I’m a detail-oriented team player who will hit the ground running to serve the needs of kids and our town, always seeking out diverse points of view before making an informed decision.
And we have many decisions and issues facing us— growing enrollments, the logistics of replacing the high school, reducing student stress, and addressing diversity and inclusion concerns to name just a few. It can seem daunting, but I don’t look at it that way. As a town, we are starting a journey full of challenges, giving us the opportunity to come together and achieve something great. I want to be a part of the answer and work with the new superintendent to propel our children, our schools, and our community forward into a strong future. The solutions are out there.
I look forward to meeting you around Lexington and earning your support.
I've lived in Lexington for 23 years. And in that time I have had many opportunities to get involved with the town and its residents. Take a look below and see what I've been up to.
There are people who make lists and those who don't. I am a list person. And below is the beginning of my list of issues we will have to face in Lexington with regard to our schools. It is not a complete list; it's a work in progress. Read it over, send me your thoughts, and even send me other issues that you think should be on the list.
When I was teaching preschool, we were always focused on the child's domains of early learning development:
social and emotional
gross and fine motor
speech and language
approaches toward learning
These domains, although extremely important in a young child, still are developing as the child goes through elementary school thru high school. I believe they can be adapted and applied to any student attending Lexington Public Schools (LPS).
The cognitive domain is the one we all think of when we think of school. It is primary in education--the knowledge learned thru exploring curriculum and using basic academic skills. Taking a look at test scores, MCAS, and college-readiness assessments, LPS does a pretty good job with this domain. Our goal should be to continue our high standard and improve, if possible.
It is in the social and emotional domain that I believe we have the ability to make some changes to actually make it easier for a child to succeed in the cognitive domain. Dealing with student stress and how young people interact during school could help many students become more comfortable in school and succeed in areas that were hindering their development.
The basic gross and fine motor skills should already be in place by elementary school. Handwriting, art projects, playing musical instruments, and climbing on the playground structures--just to name a few. But as the child gets older, more specialized art, music, and sports activities tend to kick in and contribute to this development. At LPS, we should be able to provide many activities for physical growth, from intramurals to varsity sports, from pottery to oil painting, from marching band to jazz ensembles.
The domain of speech and language is all about communication. At the early stages, it is all about learning how to speak and form words to communicate. As a child moves through adolescence and beyond, we should be able to promote vocabulary growth and communication skills so a child is able to communicate ideas as well as feelings to peers and adults, finding voice in the world.
The last domain--approaches toward learning--has to do with how a child learns. Is the student a visual learner? What about auditory learning? Learning by repetition? In small groups? There are many ways a teacher can reach a student, but an educator must be given time to explore which ways work best for which students. An overcrowded classroom with a poor teacher-student ratio prevents a teacher from cultivating a successful student, which can lead to students "falling through the cracks."
In approaching education, I want to be clear that I believe that this domain system can apply to all students at any stage. If a child, for whatever reason, is not flourishing in one of the domains, they should be given as many opportunities as possible to develop those skills and succeed. When we send a child into the world after LPS as a young adult, they should be a well-rounded and proficient person who has nicely developed in all five domains. If we focus only on academics, then we do the child a disservice.