ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Cindy Rodriguez and Jianna DeFranzo chat with Jared Nicholson after he announced his bid for a second term.
By GAYLA CAWLEY
LYNN — Jared Nicholson, a member of the School Committee, is running for a second two-year term, and officially kicked off his campaign on Wednesday.
Nicholson, 31, an attorney, laid out his reasons for running for reelection to a crowd of supporters and other elected officials at Rincon Macorisano.
“I plan to raise a family here and I want to send my future kids to great public schools, and I want to be a part of the effort to make sure that our city has great public schools to offer,” he said.
Nicholson said he believes in the potential Lynn has, and in order “for us to reach that potential, we need to make sure that all of our kids reach their potential,” which has to take place in the public schools. He said that would be achieved by getting the kids in schools now the skills they need to thrive, and attracting and retaining families who have a lot to contribute and are looking at the schools and deciding where they want to live.
Nicholson said the district needs to continue to find more opportunities for kids to find their passion after school, highlighting its achievements with the wrestling program at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, the early college program with North Shore Community College, and important programs in IT and healthcare added at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute.
Some challenges the district faces, he said, include the dropout rate (listed as 4.9 percent for all grades in the 2015-2016 Massachusetts Department of Education report), sorting out the budget, and finding the space needed for schools.
Including Nicholson, 13 people have taken out papers to run for school committee, including incumbents, Donna Coppola, John Ford, and Lorraine Gately, and challengers, Jordan Avery, Cherish Casey, Brian Castellanos, Gayle Hearns-Rogers, Sandra Lopez, Natasha Megie-Maddrey, Jessica Murphy, Michael Satterwhite, and Stanley Wotring Jr.
Long-time incumbents, Maria Carrasco and Patricia Capano, vice-chair, are not seeking re-election.
Gayla Cawley can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.