Voters will choose 3 School Committee members from these six candidates — three incumbents and three challengers. The winners will serve the next four years.

 

INCUMBENTS

Sven Amirian

Age: 47

Address: 45 Talmuth Ave.

Occupation: vice president of Invaleon Technologies Corporation

Family: Married, 2 daughters, 1 son

Political background: 2-term city councilor, former president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, vice chair of the Haverhill School Committee

Why should people vote for you? I care deeply about the children of our city and I believe that our schools are the foundation of our community. My strengths are integrity, honesty and compassion.

Should voters support building two new schools to replace Consentino and Whittier Middle Schools in the next 5 years, as has been proposed? Yes. We owe it to our students and teachers to provide the best facilities for learning and growth. Majority funding is available through the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Besides new schools, what is the greatest educational issue that Haverhill faces? We are currently addressing the issue of reading at grade level. It is critical that our students are achieving at an early age so they have the tools they need to succeed throughout their school careers.

  

Gail Sullivan

Age: 71

Address: 18 Hawthorne St.

Occupation: retired

Family: married, 1 child

Political background: 4 years on Haverhill School Committee

Why should people vote for you? Because of my extensive experience as a teacher and administrator, and my commitment to leveling the playing field for all children.

Should voters support building two new schools to replace Consentino and Whittier Middle Schools in the next 5 years, as has been proposed? We need to replace or refurbish both schools.  We need state approval of any plan in order to receive funding for the majority of the costs for both projects.

Besides new schools, what is the greatest educational issue that Haverhill faces? To improve academic performance at all of schools while ensuring that all students are safe and supported.

 

Scott Wood Jr.

Age: 36

Address: 93 Lawrence St.

Occupation: police officer and mortgage branch manager

Family: single

Political background: 4-term member of Haverhill School Committee

Why should people vote for you? I have worked hard to deliver results, lower class sizes, improve MCAS scores, lower dropout rates and increase focus on school safety. I'll continue to be an independent voice on the School Committee.

Should voters support building two new schools to replace Consentino and Whittier Middle Schools in the next 5 years, as has been proposed? Yes, the buildings are very much needed to provide a top quality education. The proposal has this being done with no tax increase.

Besides new schools, what is the greatest educational issue that Haverhill faces? School safety. Recently, more than 50% of students reported they don't feel safe in school. Our first job is to make sure students are safe.

 

CHALLENGERS

Thomas Grannemann

Age: 69

Address: 51 Leroy Ave.

Occupation: economist, recently retired

Family: married, 3 grown children

Political background: moderate Democrat

Why should people vote for you? I would bring needed skills in financial management, experience managing large public budgets, and a strong commitment to high quality public education in every neighborhood.

Should voters support building two new schools to replace Consentino and Whittier Middle Schools in the next 5 years, as has been proposed? We should look for the most cost-effective way to provide excellent educational opportunities in every middle school, whether through renovation, expansion or new construction.

Besides new schools, what is the greatest educational issue that Haverhill faces? Fostering excellence and equity in the school system, so every young person can build knowledge and character and acquire the tools for a successful life.

 

Toni Sapienza-Donais

Age: 62

Address: 100 South Park St.

Occupation: retired teacher/administrator

Family: married, three grown children, one grandson

Political background: no previous political background. I am an educator, not a politician.

Why should people vote for you? With 40 years of educational experience, 31 as a classroom teacher and nine as an administrator, I am intimately aware of the specific issues that affect all of our schools. I would like to give back to my community by continuing to make sure that Haverhill children are given every opportunity to enable them to be successful.

Should voters support building two new schools to replace Consentino and Whittier Middle Schools in the next 5 years, as has been proposed? Currently there is a study underway to access what is more fiscally responsible, to replace or repair Consentino and Whittier Middle. I would take under consideration the feedback of the report so we can make a decision that it is in the best interest of the city and our students.

Besides new schools, what is the greatest educational issue that Haverhill faces? Three critical issues include school safety, better communication with families, and teacher necessities which include, but are not limited to, creating an atmosphere of feeling valued, class size, more relevant professional development, hiring a more culturally diverse staff, as well as providing social/emotional support for staff and students.

 

Stephanie Lyn Viola

Age: 36

Address: 18 Singingwood Drive

Occupation: education support professional (paraprofessional educator)

Family: married for 14 years with 3 daughters

Political background: none

Why should people vote for you? As a mother of three children who attend Haverhill Public Schools and as a former Haverhill Public Schools educator, I know first hand what the needs are. I want to be a voice for our children and educators.

Should voters support building two new schools to replace Consentino and Whittier Middle Schools in the next 5 years, as has been proposed? Yes. I believe all children should have access to a learning environment that provides them with the tools necessary to succeed.

Besides new schools, what is the greatest educational issue that Haverhill faces? I believe the lack of support for our students, teachers and administrators needs to change. Our students and teachers should feel safe and behavioral issues need to be addressed. 

 

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