There is a four-way race for the Mansfield School Committee with incumbent Lynn Cavicchi and challengers Ryan Barry, David Rapoza and Vivian Webster vying for two, open seats. Elections are May 10 with polls open at Mansfield High School.
EDUCATION: Bachelors in Business Administration w/Marketing and Sales Concentration from Westfield State University, Associates in Electrical Engineering from New England Institute of Technology, Certified Technical Trainer – CTT+ certified by COMPTIA
OCCUPATION: Principal Engineering Technologist
CIVIC EXPERIENCE: Coached HS Football at Framingham and Mansfield youth sports – flag football, youth football, baseball, basketball and soccer for the past 20yrs. Cub Scout leader for three years, member of several ERGs at work, NE Veterans, Women in STEM and Girls Who Game Mentor, mentor for Tri-County vocational Regional Technical HS students in Franklin, Best Buddies donor and participant.
Why are you running for this seat?
As a concerned parent I did not feel the School Committee was willing to have a conversation about our concerns. Among other reasons I am running to bring conversation between educators and parents back to the School Committee.
How do you feel the School Committee has handled the pandemic, particularly questions about mask requirements which many parents asked? What would you have done differently? What do you see are the continuing impacts of the pandemic on the school system and how should the committee address them?
At the start I felt they reacted accordingly. But as two weeks turned into years data became available that proved the measures being pushed were false measures. I feel they ignored the science as it evolved and dismissed the visibly negative effects of their rules. When the enforcement of a rule does not have an objective or a consistent way to monitor its adherence it should not be followed. Especially when the protection associated with that rule is no longer visible. Even when parents attempted to show them evidence of the negative effects it was on our children kids they still refused to listen. That is why I am running.
Data points to consider:
After four minutes the carbon dioxide in that mask reaches 10K PPM let alone 8hrs – this level of trapped Co2 begins to cause damage to brain cells. The kids in Mansfield HS had a thing on Instagram where they would post pics of kids sleeping in class. The number of these pics would astonish folks. (Co2 makes you tired from lack of oxygen – most people have Co2 detectors in their homes)
Due to moisture from your breath the surgical masks you wear lose effectiveness after about 20mins due to the moisture from your breath but the harm they cause is irreparable.
Weaves in masks are exponentially larger than virus particles and can’t stop them. Cloth simply doesn’t work at all.
Speech therapy cases amongst kindergarten and early elementary school children is up 300% due to children not having the added benefit of reading lips.
Suicide and drug overdoses on the rise.
Number of children with neck and back issues are on the rise because they were sitting in their houses staring down at their phones all day.
Depression and social anxiety amongst our youth is through the roof.
I would have made masks optional once their effectiveness was proven to be very low. As for testing I would have either tested both populations of students (vax or no vax) or none at all. Anything less than that is inaccurate, skewed and misleading. For virus counter measures I would have implemented detection and prevention measures such as temperature scans when entering the building, issued hand held UV lights to disinfect desks, upgraded ventilation system and added large capacity portable air purifiers to each classroom.
What is your opinion on the Town Meeting citizen petition regarding “divisive topics” being taught in public schools?
I don’t have an issue with the warrant. I am not sure why we would ever be teaching divisive concepts to our student body in the first place. As I believe division is never good. Disagreement is fine but division is destructive. It should be common sense to adults that division is a bad thing. I also I think it’s the issue is important enough to spell it out what we consider to be divisive. So that we can all identify it when it occurs as well as protect people from being wrongly accused of it.
The committee recently voted to allow school choice. What do you think? How would you have voted?
As a concept I support it as I believe it breeds competition among schools. However, concept and reality tend to be much different in this case. The current School Committee and superintendent would have you believe the cost will be absorbed rather than passed along. Their reasoning is that our class size per teacher is roughly 25 but right now it’s 23 and budget was already set so we can afford it. While that is technically true right now it will not continue to be. The reason for this is that our enrollment has dropped roughly 30% over the last three years and appears that it will continue. Our cost to put a student through school per year is roughly $14K and we are only being reimbursed $5k so eventually it will cost us and that cost will be passed along to taxpayers to keep it going.
What is one goal you have if elected?
I would like to enhance our curriculum toward hands-on learning such as various basic trade shops (auto and woodworking), life skills related courses like accounting and investments and bring some base level computer programming and robotics related classes. Bring project based learning and coop programs in to the curriculum.
Staff writer Donna Whitehead can be reached by email at email@example.com.