HOLDEN, Mass. — TheDailyHolden.com will be profiling all the candidates for Holden's contested races in the town's local election. On May 14, voters will head to the polls to decide which candidates will take seats on the Wachusett Regional School District's School Committee, with Steven J. Hammond, Deidre Kosky, Erik Scheinfeldt and Richard J. McWaters running for the office.
In February, the Holden Board of Selectmen appointed Deidre Kosky to fill the vacant seat on the Wachusett Regional School Committee, and now the candidate hopes to continue working toward providing children with the best education possible while using finances responsibly.
"I had always wanted to get involved in town politics, and the school committee is just really where my heart is, due to my children, and always having an interest in education," said Kosky.
In fact, Kosky's background is in education, as in the past she has worked as a high school English teacher, as well as with two social service agencies working with children and teenagers.
"That's my passion," she said. "I believe I'm the best fit, because I have the educational background, and at the social services agencies I was responsible for their budget."
For this reason, Kosky believes she brings the best of both worlds.
"I would consider myself a fiscal conservative," said Kosky. "I'm going to be someone who looks for waste and cuts, and hopefully work with the town. I think that people in the town have to look at is where else can we cut, too. Not just looking at the schools, but figuring out what are the most important things we're spending money on."
While looking forward to working with the school committee on the budget, and other issues facing the district, Kosky isn't afraid to go against the current either.
"I think that the people of this area are looking for someone who's not going to go with everything that's being said," she explained. "They want someone who's going to stand up to things. A lot of people think the board is almost running too smoothly, and that everyone gets along and everyone agrees. And that's nice, but in the future I'm not going to be afraid to stand on my own and stand up for what I believe in either."
In addition to bringing a rational voice of reason to the committee, Kosky also feels it is important to get to know the parents in the district and be accessible to them.
"Already, on a daily basis I receive tons of emails and phone calls, so I'm already a voice that's out there listening to the parents," she said.
"In order to be a good school committee member, you have to be very involved," she continued, adding that one of the things she's looking to do is go into the schools and research issues firsthand.
"I have the time to invest into that," said Kosky. ""Like the janitor issue. If there's waste, and people in the community think that there is money that the district is spending that we shouldn't be spending, or if there's too many janitors, I'm willing to go into the school and see for myself."
She has also been out speaking to principals, getting an idea of what is being taught in schools and what needs to be focused on in the classroom.
"Our classrooms look much different then they did ten to twenty years ago," pointed out Kosky. "One in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, and the research shows that this number will continue to rise. It's very important for me for our teachers to get assistance on how to run a classroom that has to meet the educational needs of the many different types of children they're dealing with on a daily basis."
As for the much debated district's technology initiative, and the implementation of iPads into classrooms, for instance, Kosky feels the cost is a small amount that doesn't make or break the budget.
"I do think they have to keep up on technology," said Kosky. "They have to be doing the basics in elementary school, but in Middle School and High School they need all up-to-date technology."
Bringing her experience and dedication, Kosky hopes to continue her work on the school committee.
"I'd be honored to serve the taxpayers of Holden, and most importantly the children," said Kosky. "I want to go in there thinking of every child in Holden as if they were my own child, and that's how I want to fight for them."