[Editor’s note: The election has been postponed to June 16th, but Southborough voters can already vote by mail. This spring’s ballot has a 4 year seat for Southborough’s representative on the school committee for Assabet Valley Regional Technical School with no candidate listed. Two candidates are seeking election by write-in. To help you make that decision, I have invited each of them to submit letters to readers.
You may comment to endorse the candidate. No mudslinging allowed. ]
My name is Mark Pietrewicz. I am running a campaign as a write-in candidate in the June 13 town election to continue serving as the Southborough representative on the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Committee (AVRTHS). I have served in that role since being appointed by the Board of Selectmen in September of 2019. Unfortunately, due to the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis, I was not able to obtain the required number of signatures in time to get my name on the ballot. I am asking for your support by writing me in as ‘Mark E. Pietrewicz 16 Mitchell Street’ under the ‘ASSABET VALLEY REGIONAL VOC. DIST’ heading on your ballot.
Last summer, I became aware of the vacant Southborough seat on the AVRTHS School Committee. I felt it important that the position not remain vacant, and applied. After an interview process, which included members of both the Southborough Board of Selectmen and School Committee, I was unanimously chosen to fill the seat.
In the last 9 months I have participated in all school committee meetings, working closely with the other 6 members of the committee, the Superintendent, Director of Business Operations and Principal of AVRTHS to complete several important tasks, including:
- Setting the Fiscal Year 2021 budget
- Signing a new 5-year bus contract
- Securing the health insurance packages for school employees and retirees for the upcoming fiscal year
Committee members strive to provide the oversight needed to ensure a quality education for all students in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. In providing this, we must also enforce strict fiscal discipline as effective stewards of the resources we are entrusted with.
In November of 2019 I attended the annual Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) conference. This 3-day intensive training program features presentations covering areas that affect school committees, including:
- Chapter 70 state aid, which is the major source of public school funding in the Commonwealth
- Protecting the district from cyber crime
- Fostering parent and community engagement .
At the competition of the conference I was certified as a member of the MASC. This designation is required of any sitting member of a school board in the Commonwealth.
My main goal as the Southborough representative on the AVRTHS School Committee has been to raise awareness. My first major step in that area was inviting Assabet Principal Mark Hollick to Heritage Day. As one of the premier town events, I felt it vital to have the school present at the post-parade gathering.
Assabet Valley Regional Technical High school serves approximately 1,200 grade 9-12 students from the 7 regional member towns, along with students from surrounding towns in Central Massachusetts. Located in Marlborough and founded in 1973, it is a public technical high school where students ‘learn by doing’. It provides students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for college or entry into the working world in one of many technical trades.
- 59% of the 2018 graduating class planned on attending college, while 34% planned on entering the workforce directly
- Currently there are 17 ‘career path’ areas of focus offered, including Biotechnology, Advanced Manufacturing, Health Technology, Plumbing and Electrical Wiring
- A technical education can be a rewarding option for many students, emotionally and financially.
- For example, the average wage for an entry level apprentice plumber is $41,170. Advance
- Manufacturing positions are expected to see a growth of over 15% by 2024.
- There is also a vibrant extracurricular life in the form of various sports teams and clubs
I consider the school to be a gem, albeit a bit of a hidden gem. The school is an excellent secondary education option for all Southborough students.
For more information regarding my efforts in the position, please see the update I provided the Board of Selectmen at their 5/19/2020 meeting by clicking the link below:
My report begins at the 24-minute mark.
A bit about myself:
- My wife and I have been Southborough homeowners for the past 13 years
- We have one son, who attends Southborough public school
- I have been employed by Fallon Health in Worcester in the Actuarial department for the past 12 years
- I am a proud Freemason, and have served as the Treasurer of Siloam Lodge in Westborough for the last several years
- Prior to my appointment to the school committee, I served a term on the Southborough Conservation Commission
Having a son in the Southborough school system for the past 7 years has provided me with an opportunity to see first-hand the amazing staff and resources available to all public school students in the town. I have also come to understand the need for parental involvement at home with our children, as supportive parents and as tax paying residents of the town.
In closing, I ask for your vote so that I can continue the vital work I have undertaken as the Southborough representative on the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Committee. In these challenging times, consistency and experience will provide Southborough the representation it deserves.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, thoughts or concerns via either my cell: 508.612.8715 or email: email@example.com
Mark E. Pietrewicz, 16 Mitchell Street