After a career as an educator and school administrator, Candace Aselton is running for a seat on the Mashpee School Committee.
Ms. Aselton said she began her career as an educator in 1968, when she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and then a master of arts with a certificate of advanced graduate studies in education administration from Worcester State University.
Before taking early retirement and moving to Mashpee in 2006, Ms. Aselton spent 36 years as an educator in the Leicester Public School system, where she taught 8th grade English; was the principal of the Leicester Primary School; and taught English at Becker Junior College. When Ms. Aselton moved to Mashpee she began working as a paraprofessional in the Mashpee Public Schools.
When she began her career, Ms. Aselton said, she thought her job would be teaching children about “books and plots and themes and symbols.
“Then, I spent my entire career teaching about courage and hard work, and resiliency, and hope.”
Ms. Aselton said she learned more about education when she started working in the Mashpee schools. She said that her work as a paraprofessional has allowed her to work in each of the district’s schools.
“Paraprofessionals are song-singing, smile-bringing, child-chasing rock stars,” she said. “They are kind of a big deal and their importance to education is often underestimated.”
Ms. Aselton said that if elected to the committee, she will bring a sense of unity to the district’s schools.
“I think we need to work as a community,” she said. “I think that with my insight, because I work in the system, I can bring a lot with me and help mend those ways.
“I have a feeling that the value of our teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals is underappreciated. They don’t get credit for what they do.”
If elected, Ms. Aselton said, her first task will be “to sit and listen and have an open ear.”
“I think part of the problem is that nobody is listening,” she said. “I want to listen to the teachers, to the paraprofessionals, to the assistant principals. I want to listen and then, at that point, see what needs to be done.”
Ms. Aselton recalled the work of two school administrators who inspired her.
“They had an open-door policy, not a closed-door policy,” she said.
“They were always out in the hallways. They were always out at recess. I’d like to see that again.”