Editor’s note: As part of our ongoing coverage of the Nov. 5 general election, we asked the candidates for School Committee to answer a questionnaire and provide a synopsis of his or her platform and reason for running.
Today, we share the responses of Cheryl Sweeney and Raymond Matthews.
Five candidates are running for three open seats on the School Committee. School Committee members serve a four-year term, and there are seven members on the board. The mayor is the chairperson of the committee.
School Committee members receive an annual stipend of $2,500.
CHERYL G. SWEENEY
I am running for re-election to the Newburyport School Committee to work toward the best quality education for the students of our city. I have been an educator for 40 years and believe I can make a difference. For the last two years I have been elected vice chairwoman of the School Committee by my colleagues because of my background in education and the contributions I make. Our students, teachers and citizens deserve the very best, and if re-elected, I will work diligently to ensure the kind of school system that will make Newburyport proud. I promise to be fiscally responsible in determining an appropriate budget, balancing what I know to be best for our students while keeping in mind the constraints of the city budget.
Thanks to the voters, we are building a new elementary school that will bring together our K-3 students and I will work with the administration and staff on a smooth transition for all to the new site. We need to work diligently in planning the administrative model for the school itself, as well as developing a culture that will promote collegiality and collaboration.
I support partnerships with colleges so that our high school students will be given more opportunities to challenge themselves by taking courses we are unable to offer. I want to sustain family/community/business/higher education partnerships. I will continue to monitor our special education costs and programming and I strongly believe that we should provide all students with the best instruction in the least restrictive environment, keeping our students in district by providing appropriate programs.