To the editor:

I am Juliet Walker and I am running for School Committee this year because I care deeply about our kids and I care about our future.

I also believe that schools are a reflection of our community and, as a city planner by profession, I know that strong schools make strong communities.

I grew up in Keene, New Hampshire, where I attended public school along with my three siblings. I have a master’s degree in planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and have worked with communities throughout New England for more than 20 years, most recently as planning director for the City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

My husband and I moved to Newburyport in 2004 and have raised our two boys here, both of whom have attended Newburyport schools since kindergarten.

Since moving to Newburyport, I have been engaged in the community, serving on the Charter Review Committee, the YWCA board of directors, and am a founding member of Newburyport Livable Streets.

I was active in the Port Pride community building project to support construction of the new Bresnahan Elementary School, and I helped lead a Safe Routes to School initiative which brought grant funding to improve sidewalks and bike lanes to our schools. I also served for two years on the Newburyport High School council.

After weathering a global pandemic, our schools will continue to face challenges, and I believe I have the experience and drive to help our schools and children thrive.

If I am elected to be one of your School Committee representatives, I will:

Be an advocate for safe, healthy and supportive schools both inside and outside the classroom.

Work to create a world-class curriculum for all students, not only in our core academic subjects, but in our foreign language, theatre, arts, and music programs as well.

Seek to reduce financial burdens on families and make extra curricular activities more accessible to all students by working to reduce user fees.

As a member of the School Committee, I will lead by example by working to foster an environment of collaboration, accountability and excellence among my fellow committee members and the community at large.

Please check out my campaign web page at www.julietfornbpt.com to learn more about me and how to get in touch.

Your first opportunity to vote for School Committee and mayoral candidates will be Sept. 21 for the preliminary election.

Juliet Walker

Newburyport

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