Angus On The Run: Teen Town Meeting Member Seeks School Committee Seat

Photo: Angus Abercrombie, 19, has confirmed he will be running for school committee in the 2024 Town Election

In June 2022, Angus Abercrombie crossed the raised daïs at Harris Field to receive his high school diploma from Belmont High School in spirit; he was attending the Democratic Party’s State Convention that day as one would expect from an ambitious young man with his eyes on his political future.

If everything goes according to his plans, by June 2024, Abercrombie will be setting school policy, approving the school district’s multimillion budget, and negotiating with school unions – whose members only two years before were his teachers – as the 19-year-old Winn Street resident has announced his campaign for one of two seats up for grabs on the Belmont School Committee next year.

Abercrombie is the first person to submit a Statement of Organization of Candidate’s Committee with the Town Clerk’s Office (Nomination papers are still weeks away from being available). The Emerson freshman already has a campaign web page up and running and is active on X (formally Twitter), TikToc, Facebook, and Instagram, where Abercrombie is seen chummy with local, state, and national Democratic leaders.

A lifelong Belmont resident educated in the Belmont public schools, Abercrombie ran and was elected to Town Meeting in April, which at the time caught the attention of the Boston Globe. Since then, the Democratic Party activist has been featured in the Globe, WBZ-TV, and National Public Radio, which described him as one of a growing number of “Gen Z politicians pushing to become leaders of today.”

At first glance, dismissing the teenager as a passing fade would be to the challengers’ disadvantage. An energetic campaigner, Abercrombie topped Precinct 8 Town Meeting results with 544 votes, the second largest town-wide tally. He is a frequent participant at public, board, committee, and school meetings where he is gaining a reputation for thoughtful, engaging comments.

School Committee Chair Meghan Moriarty and Jamal Saeh are up for reelection in April 2024.

The Belmontonian interviewed Abercrombie after the 2025 Budget Public Forum at Town Hall.

You have submitted organization papers with the Town Clerk. Are you considering running for School Committee?

Abercrombie: Yes, I’ve decided to seek a seat on the School Committee.


Abercrombie: “[Belmont] is really at an inflection point. We’re about to ask voters for the biggest override ever, and we need to prove that we have the leadership to spend that money how it needs to allocated. I’ve attended our schools recently and I’ve watched the cuts get made to programs and increased fees that were imposed from when I was in kindergarten to the Winn Brook [Elementary] and the High School . I’ve watched every part of the school experience – not just in the classroom but also transportation issues, sports, activity fees – becoming tougher and tougher, especially for our families who don’t have the time and money to push for their kids outside of school. I want to advocate for them on the committee.

You’ve said you will bring the insight and interests of students to the school committee which, you’ve noted, is the largest constituency who doesn’t have the opportunity to be heard via the ballot box.

Abercrombie: Absolutely. There are a lot of students who have a deep attachment to this community. But the first time they’re actually able to vote on the issues that matter of this community, they’re often going ready to go off to college and university. That makes it really difficult for us to properly hear their voices and for the people who are in the halls of power to weigh those voices correctly.

What are the three main goals that you will bring to the school committee?

Abercrombie: Number one, we need to fix our long-term Special Education program with good wraparound services. Ensuring we are serving every student’s needs, and when possible and appropriate, keeping them in-district.

Number two, transportation. The way students get to school, right now, is unfeasible. It’s getting students to and from school in a climate conscious, low-traffic impact, and safe manner. And that also means pushing back school start times because student drivers who are tired are not safe drivers.

Number three is communication. Leveraging my background in campaigns, communications, and community organizing to better connect and engage families with school programming. We can’t allow students to fall through the cracks just because their parents don’t have time for what is sometimes a full time job; keeping up-to-date on in-school opportunities and needs.

You’re 19 and a full-time college student at Emerson. How do you respond to those who believe you lack the experience to take on the job?

Abercrombie: Well, last year at Emerson College, I ran the allocation of a $1.1 million budget. I did it. Everyone has spoken to has been happy about how that budget went down. Look, Belmont has six people on our school committee who bring different experiences, and we need to make sure that every part of the conversation about our schools is represented on our school committee. That includes parents, students, and people in the town who are not currently in either of those groups, but still deeply feel the effects of our school department. That’s why I’m running.

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