Hopkinton, MA
Hopkinton, US
11:03 am, Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Letter to the Editor: School Committee could use new leadership

by | Jun 19, 2023 | Letter to Editor

I am so disappointed as I read the news article in the Hopkinton Independent about the School Committee reorganization.

I am grateful for the service that the board members provide. At the same time, why are the same people continuing to hold onto power in the Executive Committee (chair/vice chair) for years at length, controlling the narrative, not making room for new voices who express interest to step up — highly qualified, inclusive and thoughtful leaders at that. These roles control subcommittee appointments, agenda shaping and much, much more. No one stepping up is evidently not an excuse in this case.

Is it not time to introduce term limits for elected roles, and leaders of leaders, who oversee tens of millions of taxpayer dollars? Two terms is enough both in the elected office and on the executive committee of a committee. This is 2023, after all, time to find ways to make room, elevate other voices and share power. Pass the torch, please.

— Meena Bharath, Hopkinton

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  1. Paul DiBona

    Well said
    Term limits across the board for each and every board or committee including chairs and co-chairs is the best way for our town to continue.
    Individual interests need to be avoided and the best interests of the entire town should be the norm.
    Start now before it is too late.

    • Meena Bharath

      Hi Paul! I remember our conversation many years ago on this matter. With you 100% then and now.

  2. Elizabeth Farry

    Thank you for sharing your perspective Meena. As a former (and quite effective) School Committee member, your point of view is particularly valuable and carries extra weight in our community. I too was quite disheartened to see the outcome of the new Committee’s internal leadership decision making. New perspective and meaningful oversight of the School Leadership would instill confidence that is deeply lacking in our community. The exhausting SpED cut debate that consumed the attention and morale of many critical stakeholders this academic year revealed a leadership dynamic that would benefit from different approaches so that the School Committee truly and efficiently functions as an oversight body. Term limits, among other measures, would go far to build confidence that the School District is moving in the right direction.

  3. Kristen Turner

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. Term limits would be a welcome change. It was disappointing to see the same people continuing on in the leadership roles, especially since a newer member showed interest. The chair mentioned that no one member has more “power” than the others. The chair/vice chair control the agenda, recognizes meeting attendees to speak (or not), controls committee’s access to legal counsel, and curated which public comments were read when meetings were remote. The chair is also the spokesperson that answers correspondence and questions from the media. To me, at least, it appears that the chair does have the ability to control the narrative and business of the committee as a whole.

  4. Beth Malloy

    With the 2 proposed vice chairs having terms ending, and 2 brand new to the committee- what would you have done Meena?

    • Meena Bharath

      Hi Beth, I would
      (1) make room and support a newer voice
      (2) amend HPS Policy BDA to limit anyone staying over an extended period. Welcome all new members in to the process and workings fairly.