WESTFORD — WestfordCAT reached out to the five candidates running for two open School Committee seats in the May 3 Westford municipal elections. Candidates were asked the same outline of questions, and were free to share their replies during an interview with WestfordCAT.
School Committee incumbent Sean Kelly spoke with WestfordCAT, outlining his background, experience and aspirations if reelected to the committee.
Experience and Education
He received his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University. He currently works as an attorney.
Past/Present Municipal Experience
He is an incumbent on Westford’s School Committee since 2019. He has served on a variety of town committees, such as the Health Westford Committee and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.
Volunteer participation, community involvement
He serves as the School Committee Liaison to the Board of Directors for WestfordCAT.
What should voters know about you?
“I had this sense of duty and purpose. I’m running because I think I’m the best candidate for the job. I have a lot that I’m proud of that we did,” Kelly told WestfordCAT.
“I sit on the Healthy Westford Committee having been able to analyze things like students walking to school more, as well as school lunches and the nutritional value of them,” he said. “I also sit on SEPAC where I’ve been able to advocate for students with special needs.”
Why do you believe voters should choose you?
“I think I’m the best person for the job. I’ve been here for three years. I think we’ve accomplished a lot of great things during that time. I have two young boys, one of which is in the school system. I think I bring a unique perspective to the committee,” he said.
He continued, “I think being an attorney has forced me to wear a variety of hats. I have to be a negotiator, an empathic listener and have to be willing to take opposing viewpoints. Those things translate to being a school committee member.”
Kelly also said that during his term, Westford began to offer full-day kindergarten and hired a new superintendent.
If elected, what impact do you hope to make?
“I think that COVID that drew a light on problems our youth are having. Particularly in the social-emotional realm. Academically it certainly puts some students behind. My area of concern has been our most vulnerable learners, particularly our special education learners,” he said. “We’ve got to make up for the gaps.”
He continued, “We need to focus on each student individually, not just look at raw data. It tells us how the students in the middle are doing. It doesn’t always illustrate how our most vulnerable students are doing.”
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