After serving on the Sandwich School Committee for the past four years, Kerri L. Ames said that her experience sets her apart from the other candidates running for the board.
“I struggled this time about running again but after the budget season, I felt like I was still serving a purpose,” she said.
Ms. Ames said that about five years ago there was a lot of tension between members of the school board, as well as between the school board and other municipal entities. She said the discord has subsided.
“The committee has found its groove,” she said. “To leave now would make me nervous.”
She said that even though board members still have differing opinions on some issues, they have a rapport with one another that allows them to have respectful disagreements. She said that it is important that the board not regress to the state it was in a few years ago.
Ms. Ames believes that the district has been moving in a positive direction—particularly in bringing in the strong leadership of Superintendent Pamela A. Gould and Sandwich High School Principal James Mulcahy.
Ms. Ames said there are areas where she would like to see the district improve. For example, she said more should be done to serve higher-achieving students, such as expanding Advanced Placement offerings at the high school. She said that Mr. Mulcahy adding business classes at the high school is a step in the right direction.
She would also like to see more equity when it comes to how schools are funded, noting that conversations with Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker Jr. are already happening to evaluate the formula that determines how much funding goes to schools in the state.
“If we are held to a 2 percent increase, then Sturgis [Charter Public School] and Upper Cape Tech should be, too,” she said.
When it comes to student retention, she said that Dr. Gould is taking a good approach by following up with families who have decided to take their children out of the district. Ms. Ames said that her own daughter made the decision to attend Sturgis Charter Public School.
In addition to Sturgis being known for having an academically rigorous curriculum, Ms. Ames said that having a parent on the school board made it difficult for her daughter to attend Sandwich schools.
“She was tired of coming home and asking why I had to vote against the field trip,” she said. “She wanted to be her own person.”
Even though her daughter goes to another school, Ms. Ames wants to keep Sandwich students in Sandwich schools and she thinks the district is making great strides toward improving student retention.
“We have the best staff and they’re all invested in making the schools great,” she said.
“How are we going to keep kids here? Keep all of these amazing people here.”