Michael Lowry is running for a seat on the Mashpee School Committee, emphasizing his previous experience serving on a school board in Akron, New York.
Mr. Lowry moved to Mashpee in 2012 after working as an air traffic controller for 27 years. Mr. Lowry was required to leave his job as a federal air traffic controller by the mandatory retirement age for federal workers, and now works as a contracted air traffic controller in Hyannis.
Mr. Lowry decided to become an air traffic controller after earning a degree in school business administration, a degree that Mr. Lowry described as “tailor made” to prepare someone to enter the business department of a public school system.
Mr. Lowry said that pursuing a seat on the school committee would allow him to return to work that his degree prepared him for.
Before moving to Mashpee Mr. Lowry served two terms on the school board in Akron, New York, a district that Mr. Lowry said is similar to Mashpee in the size of its population as well as its budget. He said he enjoyed the work, which included being the point person to explain New York’s property tax system.
One of his strengths as a member of the committee, Mr. Lowry said, would be his knowledge of finance, where he has experience preparing budget presentations, projecting revenue, and determining the tax levy.
“I can see that being something of my job,” he said.
Mr. Lowry said the main challenges he sees for the district are managing changes to the school population, maintaining the school infrastructure and working with the school administration to offer a comprehensive curriculum.
“You want to do the most for the students that you possibly can in the extent of curriculum,” he said.
Mr. Lowry said that 15 to 20 years ago, schools needed to offer computer science classes to stay current in their curriculum; now they will need web design and computer graphics classes. He said he knows of some “fantastic” programs that the district offers in collaboration with Cape Cod Community College.
In terms of managing infrastructure, Mr. Lowry stressed the importance of using capital plan projects to reduce the spending from the district’s operating budget.
If elected to the school committee, Mr. Lowry said that he would be excited to be a clear advocate for his constituents and the opportunity to work with the town’s Wampanoag population.
“I would love to be involved in that,” he said. “I would love to have a relationship there.”