Letter to the Editor: Prestwich Will Bring Balance to School Committee

Photo: Andrea Prestwich.

To the editor:

I express my support for Dr. Andrea Prestwich, candidate for School Committee. Andrea has two children who currently attend Chenery Middle School. She leads small ministry groups at the First Church, Belmont, and is an avid member of the choir. At work, Andrea is an internationally respected astrophysicist who oversees projects and manages a multi-million dollar budget for the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

As a parent and former reporter covering the School Committee, I have attended countless School Committee meetings. I can attest that Prestwich has the requisite background and experience to lead our schools. She understands the budgeting process and can make difficult decisions. She appreciates the district’s recent focus on social and emotional learning and its impact on students’ development. Most importantly, she is a critical thinker who has the skills to negotiate and work through complex policy implications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Education Association have called for later middle and high school start times (8:30 a.m. or later) so that students can get adequate amounts of sleep. Andrea formed the Belmont chapter of the national nonprofit, Start Schools Later, and has held local talks on the issue. Andrea is committed to reviewing the district’s policies around school start times to determine what is appropriate for Belmont.

Yes, financial leadership is a key issue for all of our town committees. But we also need to have a balance of diverse members on our committees. I admire Andrea’s dedication and passion to serve our children and community. I urge you all to join me in voting for Andrea Prestwich for School Committee on April 5.

Melissa Irion

Town Meeting Member Precinct 8

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