To the editor:
I will be supporting resident and former long-time Glover Elementary School principal Brian Ota in his desire to serve on the School Committee, and I hope you will too. Knowing Brian for more than a decade, I was pleased to learn about his decision to serve in this important role, and I can’t think of a better or more qualified candidate.
Brian’s years in the United States Marine Corps instilled in him the values of dedication, honor, reliability, attention to detail and service to others. He has clearly carried those values with him throughout his life and into the education profession. As the Glover School principal, these traits made him an excellent role model for both the children and his colleagues.
As an early morning riser myself, I regularly saw Brian’s car at the school by 5:30 a.m. each day, well before any school employee would be expected at work. Watching and listening to him as he interacted with the children, the staff (whom he appeared to treat as co-workers and not subordinates) and parents, it was clear that he valued all opinions.
While always one to look for consensus, he was also not afraid to tactfully put his foot down and take a stand or make a decision when one was needed. This occasionally included being on the unpopular side of issues and having the courage and character to speak truth to power (a trait largely absent in today’s world).
Brian will bring a tremendous amount of experience onto the School Committee, as he is uniquely suited to understand the complexities of the budget process from having to complete one each year while a principal. As a former manager, he is well versed in the various contracts between the district and its diverse unions. I am confident that he will bring a high degree of fiscal responsibility to the committee and the district that will be beneficial during difficult future financial times.
Brian continues his commitment to helping others through his appointment with a local marine patrol as an assistant harbormaster, taking only a year off for himself following his active years in Marblehead’s school system. “Service above self” appears to me to be Brian’s unspoken motto.
Please consider entrusting Brian once again with the safety and welfare of the town’s young people and the taxpayers’ assets. I believe he has earned our confidence by his years of exceptional service.
Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.