Letter To The Editor: Donner’s Work on School Committee Is More Important Than Ever

Photo: Tara Donner is running for re-election to the School Committee

Belmont is blessed with an amazing abundance of candidates for the School Committee this year, but Tara Donner, who has served three years is a standout incumbent who deserves your vote.

Transparency and community outreach are so important for our community. Under the crush of hours and hours of meetings and decisions to make, it’s been difficult to get outreach right. But Tara has always been an advocate for outreach and was instrumental in launching “office hours” for the School Committee. She’s been a regular there – talking with frustrated parents, taking questions, investigating issues raised, and talking solutions. The School Committee needs so much more of this, but Tara is showing how to get the work done.

We’ve always struggled with diversity and inclusion in our school district. This is why Tara’s work in establishing the School Committee’s Equity Subcommittee is so important. Even while our students and families grow more diverse, our educators are mostly White. While we’ve begun work on the curriculum, it needs much more attention to ensure that inclusiveness and the full diversity of Belmont are honored and represented in our children’s education. We need so much more work on student outcomes, which tilt unfavorably against our Black and LatinX students. Tara has been there from the beginning pushing this work forward.

We have a well-educated community. But, historically, the School Committee has drawn from parents and other community members who do not know teaching as a profession. This is where Tara’s experience is both unique and extremely helpful. Tara is both a parent and an educator in Winchester. With this experience, she’s able to converse with parents about what’s happening in the classroom in a way that no one else can. She’s also able to offer a learned perspective when it comes to classroom solutions. This has only been made doubly important during the pandemic, as the School Committee has navigated many transitions from remote learning to hybrid, and now to full in-person learning. Tara knows how to get this work done.

Tara is someone with a deep knowledge of and passion for education. She has more integrity than just about anyone I know. She’s also about the most compassionate and caring individual that serves in an elected position in Belmont. As we continue marching towards normal in our schools, Tara Donner’s work is more important than ever. She deserves your vote.

Mike Crowley, School Committee, Town Meeting Member Precinct 8

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