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School Committee Candidate Jeanne Downs

When I ran for School Committee three years ago, I often referred to the example my mother set when she served on the School Board in our town for many years.  I have had the privilege of serving on the School Committee in Wayland for the last three years and working with a superintendent, administration and committee who all have the education of our children forefront in their minds.  My mother’s lessons of it being about more than just her children and about the grace, diplomacy and tact needed to keep things focused on our children’s education come into play every day.

In three years I have learned so much, but I know I still have much to learn and even more I would like to do for our children and our schools, which is why I have decided to run for a second term on the School Committee.  As we embark on new programs and the tenure of a new superintendent, I believe that I can add value.  I am a strong believer that every child deserves a chance to shine, and our schools offer Wayland’s students that chance.  Whether it be in academics, athletics, the arts, or other extracurricular activities, our children have the opportunity to find their passions and pursue them.  When they leave the Wayland school system and begin the next chapter of their lives, they leave as articulate, well-educated, and well-rounded young people.  This is thanks to the excellent teachers, staff, academics, and programs in our schools.  I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that the opportunities presented to our current students are preserved for future generations.

A deeply ingrained commitment to public education is one of the reasons my husband Ben and I moved to Wayland in 1992. Like many families, we chose this town especially because of the school system. We settled down and had four children, all of whom attended the Wayland public schools. Our town has many great attributes, but the school system is the cornerstone of our community and still the single biggest reason people move to Wayland.  An excellent school system sustains the beauty and integrity of our community and equips all of our children for a bright future.

Budgets are tight in Wayland, but this hasn’t stopped us from moving forward.  In fact, it has helped us to set clear goals and priorities as seen with the School Committee Summit a few years ago.  It is exciting to see some of that work, such as a foreign language immersion program, being implemented in the schools.  As a School Committee member I would continue to strive to empower all students while containing costs for maximum efficiency in the school budget. We must ensure that every dollar is spent wisely as we support the development and advancement of our public education system, and I want to help our community accomplish these goals.

Last but not least, I am deeply committed to the mission of the Wayland Public Schools, a mission that advocates for all students, echoing the values ingrained in me decades ago:

“Personal and civic responsibility, love of learning, and empathy for others: these are the qualities that the Wayland Public Schools seek to instill in its students. At its core, our mission is to provide a rigorous and stimulating academic environment that promotes the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Yet we deem it equally important to nurture self-confident, collaborative, and conscientious individuals. We strive to create a climate where risk-taking is safeguarded, open expression is encouraged, and free association is protected. Our goal is to advance our students’ growth into principled, informed, and capable citizens who will help guide a democracy that follows humanitarian principles in the global forum, and shape a just society where individuals may reach their full potential.”

I love this town deeply and would be honored to serve another term as a member of the School Committee.  I believe my background in business, my leadership roles in the schools and other organizations in town, and my first term on the School Committee have given me the tools and skills necessary to serve our community well for a second term.  I hope that you will vote for me on March 28th. Together, let’s work to keep this valuable community asset—our excellent schools— as the cornerstone of our community.