By Michael E. McAllister
It was with mixed emotions today that I submitted a letter to School Committee Chair Dan Brosgol and Superintendent Jon Sills informing them of my decision not to pursue a third term on the Bedford School Committee. My current term – marking 6 years in total (including 3 years as Chair) – expires on March 9, 2019.
This decision was not an easy one to make. I continue to be genuinely engaged by the work of the School Committee and am proud of what we have accomplished, including:
- Advocating for building expansion projects at Lane, Davis, and JGMS
- Supporting the transition of Jon Sills from BHS Principal to Superintendent of Schools, as well as the professional growth of Bedford’s other new school building leaders
- Improving the committee’s working relationship with Bedford’s Finance Committee
- Promoting budgets that meet student needs while living within the town’s means (meeting FinCom’s recommended guideline for all three of my years as Chair)
- Supporting the growth of in-district Special Education programming, such as SAIL
- Appropriately advocating on behalf of individual citizens on issues that were of specific concern to their children
In the short run, I would like to pursue the goal of striking a better work-life balance; my day job as a public school principal and my evening family responsibilities do not always allow me to be the School Committee member I want to be. It is my belief that those of us who seek an elected position must be capable of dedicating ourselves to it fully. I can say confidently that I have fulfilled that promise for the last 6 years, but I am less certain about my capacity to do so at that level for another three.
In the longer run, I would like to consider different opportunities, possibly including different elected positions. I do not believe it would be fair to ask anyone for their vote this March and then leave in the middle of my term to pursue another opportunity.
After much thought, then, I believe that now is the logical time to end my responsibilities as a Bedford School Committee member.
It is important to me that I continue to contribute to the town of Bedford. I admit to absolutely loving being a part of it all. My challenge is to figure out how to do that in a way that works for everyone — for Bedford, for my family, for my career, and for myself.
I am confident that another resident will step up to run for School Committee in this March’s election. It is a wonderful way to be a part of this great community. I will gladly meet with any residents who are considering such a run. Mr. Sills has my contact information and I have asked him to pass it along to any candidates who might benefit from my support. The Town Caucus will be held on January 8, 2019. Nomination papers will be available until January 14, 2019. The Town Election is scheduled for March 9, 2019.
I sincerely thank the residents of Bedford for entrusting me with their votes in 2013 and 2016. I did my best to honor that trust by giving my best effort.
Editor’s Note: Bedford’s Town Caucus will take place at 7 pm on Tuesday, January 8 in the Reed Room at Town Hall, 10 Mudge Way