From now until election day on Tuesday, Nov. 7, ThisWeekinWorcester.com will be publishing responses from candidates for Worcester city council and school committee answering the question: Why should Worcester residents vote for you?

The following is school committee member John Monfredo’s response.

During the past twelve years, I have brought to the School Committee the same passion for education that I showed as an award winning PRINCIPAL at Belmont Community School.

John Monfredo: Passion for Education is My Driving Force in the Community 1

As a School Committee member for six terms, I have filed motions to improve the safety and the quality of education for our children.   I have advocated for more parental involvement and have responded to the needs of parents and guardians. Throughout my time on the school committee, I have worked with the City-Wide Parent Organization, Worcester Reads and the Worcester Educational Collaborative.   I continue to address the issue of reading on grade level by the third grade and have initiated several agenda items on this issue.  I’m an advocate for working on the critical issue of chronic absenteeism and how to address academic loss in the summer time known as the “summer slide.”  I visit schools and read to our students.

I was instrumental in raising funds to initiate a CPR/AED training program and exposure to the Heimlich maneuver in our high schools and was  honored by the American Heart Association.  I have been a strong proponent of anti-bullying programs.  I have advocated for more rigor in our curriculum, stronger reading, math and writing programs, and supported best practices for our teachers.   I am well-versed in the leading academic research and as such supports a full day pre-school program to help students become more successful at the beginning of their academic journey.  I continue to be a strong supporter of the Arts, and have served on a number of committees such as the wellness policy, innovation planning committee, chronic absenteeism committee, strategic planning,  Head Start, and Worcester Educational Development Foundation.

I believe that every decision regarding school policy should be based on what is in the best interest of the student and have embodied that philosophy as an educator.    Throughout my career I have focused my efforts on educating the whole child by attending to their emotional, intellectual, and physical development.  I supported adequate school nurse staffing, initiated changes that strengthened the Wellness Policy, and assisted in getting community groups involved in-service projects.   I have been honored by the Massachusetts Nurses Association for my educational leadership and was a recipient of the Worcester South Chapter of REAM Educator of Distinction Award.  I was honored three years ago as the “Grand Marshall” of the Columbus Day Parade and received the African Community Education Ubuntu Award for being an inspiring advocate for children.    I also received the “Rainbow Child Development” advocate for children’s award and presently serve as vice-chairman of the School Committee.

My wife, Anne-Marie, and I began the program “Worcester: The City that Reads” in an attempt to spread literacy programs throughout the Worcester Community.   In twelve years we have collected  over 540,000 books and have put those books into the hands of our children.

I believe that I have made a difference in this community! Please support John Monfredo with your vote on November 7th.

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