MATTAPOISETT — No candidate has returned for the two vacant seats on the Mattapoisett school board. Accordingly, voters must register the candidates of their choice for the positions.
Four residents announced a written nomination: Cristin Cowles, Amanda Hastings, Lynne Bailey Pelland and Rich Reilly.
Meet the three candidates:
“Over the past few years, during some of the most challenging times in recent memory, I have been so impressed with the passion I have witnessed at our city’s school board meetings,” Hastings said in a statement. . “It’s clear to me that members of this community want the best for our young people.”
She said that “in the end, it was a spirit of cooperation and compromise that got us through together. As a professional analyst and consultant, not to mention a passionate mother, this is something I can continue to foster through my contributions as a committee member.”
Disagreements can arise, she noted, but “I really believe that at the end of the day, we all ultimately believe in this ‘special’ city. I look forward to bringing my own open-minded, data-driven reasoning to the position. I look forward to being a voice for my peers in the school community. Most importantly, I look forward to continuing to strengthen and preserve this incredible community through civil debate and discourse, where the common goal is to build a positive future for our children and generations to come. ”
Lynne Bailey Pelland
In a statement, Bailey Pelland spoke of the “privilege of growing up in this beautiful city and graduating from ORR. I have two wonderful children who are very involved in our community and attend our school system. Like any mother, I want what’s best for my children and stand up for what’s right. I look forward to serving our city and doing what is best for our children and our schools.”
She said that over the past two years, “our children have been put on the backburner and they have been politicized with personal and hidden agendas. Our children’s education and their mental health were not at the forefront of the school board’s decision-making.
She referred to a school committee meeting in February that lasted over three hours, during which, she said, “we had committee members who refused to listen to their constituents and put their own personal opinions before the voice of parents. We can do better for our children. I am more than eager to listen to everyone’s point of view, to hear them and to consider all the information presented to me, basing my decisions on what is best for our children, regardless of who and where the ideas come from. ”
Reilly said he has reached a time in his life where he has time to devote to the committee. After seeing schools through the pandemic, “I felt I could be of help.”
He said he was waiting to serve on the committee and gain experience before commenting on the issues facing the board.
He said he has skills that can help in the position. “I want to lend an ear and be a good listener,” he said. “Through my life experiences, I may be able to contribute.
He and his wife co-own the Lighthouse Learning Center in Mattapoisett, which provides child care and early childhood education.
The school sets “really high” standards and moves children through kindergarten with skills that help them succeed, he said.
He said he was proud that representatives of the public school system visited the school to learn more about how it operates and how students develop these skills.
He is also director of global sales for Tykma Electronics, which has an office in Mattapoisett.
Working with preschoolers, he said, gives him empathy and an understanding of family situations.
“It lets you see what the families are going through,” he said. “I thought this insight might be helpful.”
Cowles said she and her husband moved to Mattapoisett 16 years ago “for all the amazing reasons you live here too, but especially for the great school system. We have 2 daughters in Old Hammondtown and can’t think of a better place for them. Center School and Old Hammondtown are remarkable schools – the teachers, the friends, the art shows, the concerts…the list goes on. If I had the opportunity, I would like to give back to our community through the school committee.”
She’s a patent attorney with a degree in molecular biology, but said her “most important qualifier and number one job” is Phoebe and Ellie’s mother.
“If elected I will listen to you and listen to your concerns, work hard to keep our schools special and improve where needed (I tell my kids – nothing is perfect – there is always room for improvement). Real challenges are on the horizon, for example, school and budget consolidation. I will approach each challenge with an open mind and help identify and implement solutions that have meaning both for our children and for the city.”