Basic contact information
Email joann.m.santiago @ gmail.com
What inspires you to continue volunteering in your current role, and how do you plan to keep your outlook fresh? Bedford is a vibrant town and a wonderful place to raise a family. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to our town through my service on the School Committee during the last three years.
My liaison duties provide one opportunity to grow as a School Committee member. Participating in other town committees provides a big picture view of Bedford, town government operations and the interests of the many constituencies within Bedford. Each School Committee member serves as liaison to one or more other committees each year to represent Bedford Public Schools’ interests and facilitate communications with these groups. During my first term I served as School Committee liaison to the Lane and Davis Building Committees, Bedford Youth and Family Services Committee and the Capital Expenditure Committee. Each of these committees addresses different aspects of town life and informed how I view issues facing the School Committee. I look forward to continuing to represent the schools on other town committees if I am elected to a second term.
As a parent of Bedford students, the passage of time has also helped keep my outlook fresh as my children move through the school system and participate in different extracurricular activities. Three years ago, my daughters were navigating the transition from John Glenn Middle School to Bedford High School. Now they are both in high school and my older daughter is preparing to graduate. My experience with the schools and student needs is different than it was in 2016, and will change again by 2022.
What challenges do you anticipate in your coming term? Bedford has a wonderful school system, and we are fortunate for the town’s support. However, the Bedford Public Schools have many challenges ahead including:
- Completing the transition to MCAS. Standardized tests are growing increasingly complex, particularly for English Language Arts. The School Committee needs to support changes to curriculum and addition of resources to help our teachers ensure each student has the opportunity put forth his or her personal best on these exams. Bedford also needs to identify and adopt the optimal technology to meet state requirements for online test administration.
- Ensuring the school buildings meet the growing and changing demands of our students. This is driven not only by increases in student enrollment, but also by changing best practices, evolving student needs and our investment in expanding our capacity to educate students with special needs in Bedford alongside their siblings, friends and neighbors. These buildings should also support efforts to make Bedford a Net Zero community.
- Supporting the school system’s work to build greater cultural proficiency and reduce gaps in equity among our student body. Bedford Public Schools should offer an environment where all students feel welcomed, comfortable, and heard. This has been an ongoing effort for our system, and we must continue to identify and remove obstacles that contribute to inequities.
- Meeting the needs of all students in the system, to help them achieve their personal best. Our student population is increasingly complex. Our schools must comply with newly-issued state and federal governments mandates. Ensuring our schools meet or exceed mandates and that our students have the resources to achieve their highest potential is both necessary and the right thing to do for our town’s children.
- Meeting all these challenges while using taxpayer funds responsibly.
I look forward to hearing about your perspectives on the challenges facing our schools by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 774-309-0245.
Final campaign statement: Serving on the School Committee has been an honor and a pleasure. Supporting the development of independent critical thinkers and enabling other families to benefit from the same great education as my children is incredibly rewarding, and I would be grateful to serve another term.
Bedford has the opportunity to build on the strength of our schools to ensure all students achieve their personal best. To achieve this, we must:
- prepare students for complex standardized tests,
- ensure our school buildings can accommodate higher enrollment and needs for updated programming and support the Net Zero initiative,
- enhance the schools’ capacity to educate our increasingly complex student population,
- build greater cultural proficiency and reducing gaps in equity, and
- ensure responsible use of town investments in education.
As a School Committee I will advocate for policies and programs supporting these goals. My previous experience on the School Committee, other town committees and my professional experience with analysis and budgeting make me well-qualified for this position.
I respectfully request your vote for School Committee in the town election on March 9.