Michael Satterwhite is the latest candidate to enter the crowded race for School Committee.
By THOMAS GRILLO
Michael Satterwhite insists there’s something missing in the city’s public schools: Spanish-speaking teachers.
“About 68 percent of the school children consider themselves to be Hispanic, but there aren’t many Hispanic teachers,” he said. “We need to recruit faculty that more reflect the students.”
The 32-year-old Revere attorney, who has a 9-year-old daughter and another child on the way, is the latest candidate to launch a campaign for a seat on the School Committee.
“As a lawyer, I see families who have children with disabilities and others who are on IEPs (Individualized Education Plans),” he said. “Over the years it’s been such a difficult process for parents to get through it and get the proper ed plans for their kids. I have the tools to improve our schools.”
He enters a crowded field to join the seven-member panel where the mayor serves as chair. There will be at least two new members of the school committee because Patricia Capano, the vice chairwoman, and Maria Carrasco will not seek re-election.
Incumbents seeking another term include Donna Coppola, John Ford, Lorraine Gately, and Jared Nicholson. In addition, there are nine other contenders including Jordan Avery, Cherish Rashida Casey, Brian Castellanos, Elizabeth Rosario Gervacio, Gayle Hearns-Rogers, Sandra Lopez, Natasha Megie-Maddrey, Jessica Murphy, and Stanley Wotring Jr.
While Satterwhite agrees Lynn desperately needs new schools, he voted against the controversial proposal in March to approve construction of a pair of middle schools.
In a special election, voters rejected two ballot questions that would have authorized a $188.5 million plan for a 652-student school on Parkland Avenue and a second school to house 1,008 students on McManus Field on Commercial Street.
“I voted no because the process didn’t sit well for me,” he said. “We need new buildings, but do they need to be where they planned to put them? I didn’t agree with the school to be built at Parkland Avenue.”
Satterwhite wants to know why the city needed to tax homeowners an extra $200 a year for 25 years for the new schools.
“I’m paying property taxes now, so what are they doing to improve the schools,” he said. “Where is the $5,000 that I pay going?”
Satterwhite didn’t have the easiest of childhoods. He has talked about his mother being one of Lynn’s biggest drug dealers and a user as well. At one point, he went to live with his father to get away from a bad environment.
In 1997, he met former Mayor Thomas M. Menino at a Volunteers of America event. The faith-based nonprofit was founded in 1896 to provide assistance to low-income people. He said Menino became a mentor and helped guide him into adulthood.
“It was something having someone of his stature actually want to know more about me and help me,” he said. “We had a friendship of many years.”
Thomas Grillo can be reached at email@example.com.