Candidate’s Letter: Jessica Devine for School Committee

[Ed note: On May 8th, residents will vote to appoint candidates to five contested seats on three important boards. To help you make that decision, I have invited each of them to submit a letter to readers.]

To the Editor:

I’m thrilled to write to you about my candidacy for School Committee. Thanks for the opportunity!

As I’ve been meeting with people around town over these last few weeks, I’ve been asked many times, “Why ARE you running for School Committee?” Most times people thank me for trying to get involved. Other times they wonder if I know what I’m getting myself into! But generally, people are honestly curious about why I want to be on the School Committee. So here’s what I say…

I’m running for School Committee because I believe that if Southborough’s citizens want to see improvements in our government, they need to step up and get involved — so that’s exactly what I’m doing. I believe in public education. Our schools are fantastic and I want to help keep them strong. But there are changes I’d like to see, and from talking with people in town, I know they are changes many of us want to see! I’m excited to bring a new perspective to the School Committee and to represent Southborough’s citizens, their concerns, and their goals for our schools.

About me
I’ve lived in Southborough for 14+ years with my husband, Steve. I’m a mom of two girls, a 6th grader and a 3rd grader. I have my own business, J. Devine Creative, that helps companies with their communications through copywriting, social media management, and content marketing strategy. My community involvement includes:

  • School library volunteer since 2011 and room parent several times
  • Southborough Youth Soccer coach for four seasons
  • Kindergroup alumna
  • Working Moms of Southborough member 

Why I’m running
I want to be on the School Committee for many reasons. Top priorities include increasing school safety, decreasing student stress, and improving school and School Committee communications. I also support initiatives such as foreign language education at the PK-5 level, creative technology integration, and later start times for middle and high school. I invite you to visit my website to learn about all my priorities in detail. 

I am also very interested in delving into the school budget. Are we using funds wisely? Can we shift our spending around to provide more funds for high-priority projects? How can we obtain full reimbursement for busing and other promised state funds? Can we generate income in creative ways, such as corporate partnerships and grants? I look forward to answering these and other questions.

Why vote for me? What makes me different?
There are three candidates running for two spots on the School Committee. So… why pick me? Here are some reasons why I feel I am the right choice:

  • I’ll represent your concerns and goals, not just my own. I know that the School Committee represents the public’s voice in education. It should be accessible to you and represent what the schools need and the community wants. Basically, as an elected committee member, I am supposed to actually represent you. I will take this privilege very seriously.
  • I will make it easy for you to know what the School Committee is up to. Here’s where my background in communications really helps! It’s so hard for busy people to figure out what the School Committee is working on, so in the spirit of transparency, I’ll bring the info to you. I’ll put my years of blogging and social media experience to work and start my own blog that Southborough’s residents can actively participate in. I would also like to have more frequent public forums for people in town to engage with School Committee members.
  • I have the flexibility and background this job needs. Being on the School Committee can be time consuming, so it will be helpful that I have my own business and a flexible schedule.
  • I’m motivated! I really want to be on the Southborough School Committee. I have been working very hard since I announced my candidacy in mid-March, meeting with different groups around town, having conversations with people in government, and campaigning so people know my name and what I’m about. The hard work will continue if I’m elected! The idea of representing the people of our town and getting things done for our kids and schools inspires me, and I’m confident I’d do a great job.

Thanks again for the opportunity to tell people about my candidacy. I humbly ask for your vote and for the votes of the people of Southborough on May 8. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, and please visit my website to learn more about my priorities, my endorsements, and how to get involved with my campaign if you’d like to help.


Jessica Devine
Candidate for School Committee
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Mary Hamaker
4 years ago

I’m glad to see you include school start time on your list of issues. We need more school committee members who will push for healthy, safe, and equitable school hours for all of our children.

Jessica Devine
4 years ago
Reply to  Mary Hamaker

Hi Mary — Yes, I agree that school start time is an issue that needs to be addressed. The research is clear: There are major benefits to later start times for older students. I’m encouraged by what went on at the last Combined School Committee meeting — I think we’re on the right track, and I hope to help move the process along in the future. Thanks for your comment! –Jessica

Kerry Wall
4 years ago

I am voting for Jessica Devine because I know she will do a great job. Knowing Jessica for 6 years, I have come to understand and appreciation her thoughtfulness in decisions making. Jessica will work hard and will have the best interest in our schools and our children. I look forward to voting for Jessica on May 8th.

Jessica Devine
4 years ago
Reply to  Kerry Wall

Thank you for your support, Kerry! I appreciate it!

Kerri Sanclemente
4 years ago

I support Jessica Devine 100% for school committee. I believe that Jessica’s strong background in communication will be a significant asset to the school committee in our town. As a very busy working mom, I am excited for Jessica’s blog to keep me informed about the workings of the school committee and the Southborough schools. Further, I believe that Jessica’s commitment to school safety and student mental health/stress levels will be hugely beneficial to our children in the setting of heightened national attention on these issues. Jessica has my vote on May 8.

Jessica Devine
4 years ago

Thanks for your support, Kerri! If I am elected, I will be excited to blog and keep Southborough updated on what the School Committee is doing. Today I chatted with the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and he was very supportive of my blogging idea. Apparently many committee members around the state have a lot of success doing this. So if I am fortunate enough to serve, it’s full speed ahead! Thanks for your comment!

Heather Sechko
4 years ago

Jessica had my vote before her nomination paperwork was filed. She will do everything she can to make our schools better than they are today! She is ready and willing to make a difference. Please take a minute to vote for her on May 8th.

Jessica Devine
4 years ago
Reply to  Heather Sechko

Thanks so much, Heather! I will definitely do everything I can to help our schools. I appreciate your support!

Joelle Gilmore
4 years ago

Jessica is clearly an intelligent, enthusiastic, and qualified Southborough resident who would be a wonderful addition to the School Committee. As a mother of 3 school aged children, I agree wholeheartedly with her priorities for the school committee, especially the increased communication about school committee happenings. I will be voting for Jessica without hesitation on May 8th.

Kristin LaVault
4 years ago

Jessica and I have girls are in the same grade, which has resulted in a lot of time logged together on the sidelines of youth sports or school events. Long before this election I connected with her on many topics that relate to the school, and know she is passionate about and committed to the areas she seeks to improve, which she’s continued to prove throughout her campaign.

Sara Carr
4 years ago

Jessica has my vote tomorrow because I know she will work hard to support our wonderful school system. Jessica has already shown initiative, hard work and dedication with her campaign and I know she will continue these traits if elected to the school committee.

K. O'Meally
4 years ago

This candidate is really ready, eager and able to hit the ground running. Her platform was well presented during candidates night at the library as well as communicated above and on social media. I think her research skills, communications background and genuine concern for our schools will be a great addition. It is key to my family that foreign language is included in the future curriculum options, school start times improved and full day kindergarten included as part of the free public education.

Valerie De Angelis
4 years ago

Jessica is a committed citizen, a thorough researcher, and she possesses the communication skills to listen objectively and to advocate on behalf of others. I support her candidacy for school committee.

Jessica Devine
4 years ago

Joelle, Kristin, Sara, K. O’Meally, and Valerie — Thank you so much for your notes of support! I just saw your comments and I really appreciate them!

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