“My name is Paul Baker and I’m running for election to the Marblehead School Committee.
My wife, Julie, and I are longtime residents of Marblehead (22 years) and former local business owners who always supported the local schools with gift cards and teacher luncheons at the Coffin/Gerry schools. We have two sons, Silas and Wendell. Silas is a freshman at American University in D.C. and Wendell a sixth-grader at the Village School.
I am the head of school at the Devereux and Devereux@Waring Schools. In addition to my day position, I volunteer my time serving as a member of the Board of Trustees at the MCCPS School here in Marblehead. I am in my third term (seventh year) and have served both as board clerk (twice) and vice chair as well as chair of the Development & Communications Committee, chair of the Governance Committee and currently chair of the Personnel Committee.
During my tenure I have learned many of the intricacies of working with others as part of a board/committee (some years as many as 13 fellow members). I am well versed in Robert’s Rules, as well as Massachusetts Open Meeting and Conflict of Interest laws. I have experience in the interview and hiring process at the head of school/superintendent level at both MCCPS and the Marblehead School District, having sat on the hiring/interview committee for the current Assistant Superintendent Nan Murphy, as well as the hiring/interview committee for our new Assistant Superintendent Julia Ferreira.
Although new to the electoral process, I have attended umpteen school committee meetings both in person and on Zoom. I have been a vocal participant citizen, expressing my thoughts on issues both in print and in the meetings themselves going as far back as the unfortunate but imperative closure of the Gerry School.
After living in Massachusetts as a permanent legal resident/green card holder since
1998, I finally became a U.S. citizen last summer. My new citizenship status affords me two things; the ability to vote in all elections, local, state and national, and the opportunity to serve/run for election on town boards and committees.
At my swearing-in ceremony at the JFK building in Boston, the proctor urged all newly-minted citizens to “vote, to make a difference, to get involved and to give back” to our new country. Over the years I have supported, held signs, hosted lawn signs, sent emails, written “letters to the editor” and “talked up” many candidates. Conversely, so too have I disagreed with and criticized others. However, as a resident, business owner and taxpayer I believe that I have spoken plainly, factually and been as involved as possible without actually being able to vote or run for office.
I was able to attend and participate in my first Town Meeting recently and enjoyed (almost) every moment! I’m happy to share that I voted for the town override and am delighted that the warrant article passed. Allowing the entire town to vote on such an important question at the June ballot is essential. Marblehead can no longer rely on “free cash.” Our town and our schools don’t deserve additional funding, our town and our schools NEED additional funding and I will be campaigning to ensure that the override does pass on June 20.
All this being said, I view running for a three-year term on the School Committee as an opportunity to truly give back and make a difference in our schools, ensuring that our administration and faculty have the tools and funds that they deem necessary to educate all of our students.
I hope that you will join me in voting for the override and I would very much appreciate your vote on June 20.
If you would like to host a lawn sign please do email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for your consideration.