Sunday, July 24, 2011

School Committee 2011 - John Ford

I asked each of the candidates 3 questions. Here is the response from John Ford.  To see more on this series, please visit the Lynn, MA School Committee 2011 Series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? What on your resume or in your life experience makes you qualified for this office?

   I grew up and reside in West Lynn. I went to Burrill School (now Burrill Condominiums) for 5 years, then Sacred Heart through grade 8. I graduated from St. Mary's High. As to my resume', I have over 30 years of business management experience, a B.S. in Sociology and a Master's in Education. I have managed shops at General Electric, developed budgets and business plans and delivered an on-time , at cost product.

2. Why did you choose to run for School Committee?
        I grew up around politics. My father was Councilor of Ward 7 for 16 years. Raising four daughters, going to school nights and always working 2 and 3 jobs, kept me from ever getting actively involved. In 2001, I opted for early retirement from GE. At the time, the Lynn School Committee was in turmoil and I decided with my extra time that I would run for office and possibly improve the situation. I think that I have.

3. What do you see that is in most need of change? How will you change it? 
       A year ago I would have said that school safety was the biggest issue, but with the efforts of Officer Ferrrari, Superintendent Latham and the collaboration of the Police and School Departments, that has changed. We are within 6 months(approx) of having cameras in the Middle and High Schools hard wired into the new Police Station, a tremendous boon to crime deterrance and overall safety. This will ultimately be followed by the Elementary Schools.
      With the continued lack of funds, we need to make use of our greatest asset, parents. By greater parental and community involvement we can, in effect, stretch the school day without funding. If the parents become involved, than education becomes part of the home environment, thus instilling a greater participation on the part of the student. This effort is being widely expanded upon within the school department with programs at Harrington and Connery as well as bringing back the adult "night school" at Lynn Tech(among other initiatives).
       I am, and have been reaching out to the community, soliciting support to create after school activities and summer jobs/activities. I have involved the students of RAW in mural painting and I am negotiating using their skills in additional beautification projects. We are hoping to have our third successful summer basketball league season, an effort that has evolved and blossomed with little cost, but much sweat and effort by many participants. I believe that until the monetary situation improves we are forced to be more creative in our efforts to keep the youth or Lynn gainfully involved. I think that I am part of the solution.

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