Tuesday is Election Day in Westford and voters act on a referendum of whether or not exclude expected debt attached the proposed Boston Road fire station from Proposition 2 ½ limitations.
They will go to the polls to choose candidates for the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Board of Health, Library Trustees and School Committee. However, the only contested race comes in the School Committee, where four candidates will vie for three seats: currently held by Angela Harkness, Margaret Murray and Terence Ryan.
For more on Election Day itself, here’s information from the Town Clerk’s page on the town website, and for more on the School Committee candidates, here’s information we’ve seen on the campaign trail from the candidates.
WestfordCAT Candidate Minutes
Ryan is the only candidate with experience as an elected public official, and that experience comes from his first term on the School Committee. However, all four candidates have recent experience with Westford schools.
Adam has been the president of the Westford Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (WEPTO) since 2014 and was also a member of the Full-Day Kindergarten Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC). She also ran for School Committee last year.
Sanders serves on the Blanchard School Advisory Council and Mulpur has spent 350 hours volunteering within public schools.
All four candidates have spent some time volunteering in other areas as well, such as Sanders’ work helping teenagers who have committed crimes as well as working in the state foster child system.
Mulpur is currently a Westford Academy senior and the other candidates all have children in Westford’s schools.
During the campaign, all four candidates have generally held, or at least not significantly opposed, the following stances on major topics.
- Common Core is something all public schools in Massachusetts must adapt to, and in some areas it can provide benefits to students if implemented properly. However, PARCC testing preparation should be kept to a minimum to give teachers more time to use on their lesson plans.
- The topic of full-day public kindergarten will continue to be discussed by the School Committee in the near future, and it is important to change the curriculum for younger students to allow educators greater leeway for more socialization time and less stress to students. Reducing student stress is also important for older students.
- Westford’s teachers will require higher salaries to keep them from leaving for comparable nearby school districts.
- Superintendent Bill Olsen is doing a good job.
Ryan has emphasized his general experience on the School Committee, Adam has focused on her experience with WEPTO and CAC, and Sanders looks to use what he learned in his experience to preserve the high reputation of Westford’s schools through educating the whole child.
Mulpur’s comments have focused on improving Westford’s schools, and he has also advocated for a later start to the school day.