Six Candidates Seeking Seats On School Committee

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The hottest race for this election season is School Committee, with six candidates vying for three seats.

Current School Committee members Gary Skomro, Maryalice Sharkey and Melissa Polino will not be seeking re-election, mostly citing time constraints or medical issues. This leaves the door wide open for three new members.

Candidate Valentino “Tino” Capobianco, was the Class of 2007 class president and has worked for other politicians, but this is his first town race. He’s been going door to door and getting signs out all over town.

“I support the renovation of Miller Field and I want to make sure the new middle/high school is more than just a building,” Capobianco said.

He also wants to make Winthrop a Town that people his age can come home to and raise a family with a great school system. Right now he is working on making sure college students get absentee ballots to vote.

Candidate Ron Vecchia, is retired from General Electric, and is dealing with a fractured foot at the moment. He plans on having a fundraiser and he has friends out pounding the pavement for him. He was a former commissioner on the Board of Health, a member of the Board of Selectmen and the Conservation Commission.

He wants to serve on the School Committee because he has seven grandchildren going through Winthrop Schools.

“I see a positive direction and I want them to have a positive experience,” Vecchia said. “I’m well versed and well experienced.”

Jared Wickham, has a background in special education, as a candidate for School Committee he want to make sure teachers have the proper professional development to build up the best educators and test scores.

“If teachers are all on the same page we can work with the same strategies,” he said.

Wickham has been out with bumper stickers, signs and social media. He plans on holding “coffee hours” to meet people and hear their concerns.

Laura Callis, a newcomer to politics but not education, is a doctoral student at Boston University and was a high school math teacher in Winthrop. She’d like to focus her attention on new and early career teachers.

“We train them and they leave us for more money elsewhere,” she said.

Callis plans to hold “coffee hours” to discuss the issues with voters. Another area she’d like to work on is technology in the new school. In the present high school the wireless system often fails.

“We need time and space for teachers to integrate technology and use it to enhance learning,” Callis said.

Candidate Marcie Moline, is campaigning door to door, putting up lawn signs, using social media, and conducting “meet and greets”. One immediate issue she’d like to tackle is the resolution of the school department labor contracts.

“This will allow the School Committee and the Winthrop Public Schools staff to focus on the education of out children,” Moline said.

Candidate Christopher Hurley was not able to comment yet due to his professional commitments.

The lottery for the placement of names on the election ballot for all offices will be held Oct. 1 at 5:15 p.m. in the clerk’s office at Town Hall.

Candidates for all political races in town may attend a special meeting on municipal election regulations on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in the EB Newton Bldg. on Pauline Street.

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