Right Person, Right Time

Julie Joyce

On the eve of election day, I wanted to take a moment to publicly endorse Tom Wise and his candidacy for election to the Reading School Committee. In my opinion, Tom is right person to join this Committee at a very important time in the development of our school system.

Tom possesses the key elements of what it takes to be an effective member of the School Committee. He is bright, compassionate, thoughtful and determined. I have known Tom for several years as a fellow parent at Joshua Eaton, as a dedicated coach with the Reading United Soccer Club and through our mutual involvement on Town Meeting. Through all of these interactions, what stands out the most is Tom’s level of commitment to whatever position he holds.

Having served on the Reading School Committee, I believe that the most important criteria needed to be a successful, effective member of this Committee is to have children in the Reading school system. As a parent, you have first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day events taking place. This “real time” awareness of what our children encounter on a daily basis is invaluable and leads to better informed decisions on what is best for the Reading Public Schools.

For the past few years, Tom’s efforts in several different community endeavors have prepared him to take this very important next step to help improve the quality of our schools. I truly believe his involvement will have a significant, positive impact on our children, our schools and ultimately the entire Town of Reading.

Thank you .

Another Vote for the Wise Choice

Christine Lusk

I am happy to support Tom Wise for School Committee. I first met Tom back on a T-ball field when my youngest was starting at Joshua Eaton. However, I really got to know Tom about five years ago. Tom and I were both volunteering our time at Joshua Eaton, I was serving on the School Advisory Committee and Tom was on the Joshua Eaton Task Force. As these two groups shared information and concerns, I was able to see firsthand his ability to listen, research and advocate. Whether on the sidelines of a soccer field, at school drop off, or via e-mail Tom always listens to concerns and feedback from others. If he doesn’t know the answer to questions, he knows where to look, and follows-through on getting answers. If he doesn’t like your opinion, he is usually genuinely engaged to understand how you came to your opinion. I have seen him be convinced of other points of view. When it comes to national politics there are many things we do not agree on; but I enjoy having respectful discussions with someone who doesn’t share my liberal views. 

Tom has been a very active advocate for our children. He often goes to bat for issues that do not directly impact his family but that he feels are the right thing for our community. Tom is not afraid to bring up the tough conversations. He is not afraid to hold our schools accountable to the policies that are in place and when there is research to support amending policies Tom is not shy about bringing the data and conversation forward.

It is important to have a balanced School Committee that can both advocate for our children and listen to the concerns of the community. I feel confident that Tom Wise will be true to the role as a representative our entire community on the School Committee.

Vote Robinson & Wise

Karen Janowski

As the campaign season winds down, we have two clear choices for the three-year seats on the School Committee. First, Chuck Robinson has shown his commitment to our town and our students through his lengthy public service, first as a Finance committee member and for the last decade, as a School Committee member. He has demonstrated his outstanding leadership abilities in his position as School Committee Chair. I know from first-hand experience he considers all points of view, listens and reflects, and holds the administration accountable. He is the consummate professional in his dealings with the public, respectful and sensitive to all perspectives. He should be re-elected so that we can continue to benefit from his experience, wisdom and common-sense approach to school committee matters.

Tom Wise brings a new voice to the committee. He is highly motivated, as a parent of two students, to offer the highest quality education for all students. He has experience as a member of the Joshua Eaton Task Force to collaborate and present solutions to issues that impacted our district. I am impressed by his determination to understand the complexities of the matters faced by the school committee. Throughout this campaign season, Tom has presented himself as someone who thoroughly researches all issues, offers a unique and creative perspective and truly cares about hearing every viewpoint. Undoubtedly, he will bring that same tenacity and passion to the board and will offer new, innovative ideas for resolving long-standing concerns that have plagued our town. He is, without hesitation, the WISE choice.

Please join me in enthusiastically re-electing Chuck Robinson and electing Tom Wise on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

Time for Reading to Wise Up!

Marianne Downing

It is hard to add something new to the ever-increasing chorus of enthusiastic Tom Wise supporters. Count me in the club. I have been a fan and a friend going back to fall 2014 when we both began serving on the Joshua Eaton Taskforce (JETF). In that role, Tom demonstrated an ability to come up to speed quickly on how teachers collaborate and present new curriculum, how the state evaluates schools, what MCAS does and does not measure, what the schools measure on their own, how schools and teachers in the district do things differently and the same, how new curriculum is selected and introduced, how school culture affects learning, how curriculum is aligned between grades, and so much more. Tom’s time on JETF alone would have put him in fine form to run for school committee back then. But, over the years, he has gained even more skills.

After JETF disbanded in May 2015, Tom and I stayed in very regular communication, and he has been an advance sounding board (and often a second source) for virtually every nerdy, wonky data-based analysis or comparison I have created shared to the school-related social media sites. He has performed many of his own analyses as well – a quick search of Facebook parent groups related to Reading and Reading schools will demonstrate that Tom has a long history of thoughtful, informed posts about Reading Public Schools. It is clear that Tom does not merely accept, without proof, mere assertions that something is working or will work itself out in a few years – he wants to hear and see verification and, if possible, measurable evidence, that initiatives and policies are working for our students, staff, and community. He will crunch the data, talk to teachers, and talk to experts – all in the view of understanding as many aspects of an issue as he can. He wants not just the best value for our tax dollars, but the best educational experience for ALL students: the average kid, the gifted kid, the kid with disabilities, and everyone in between. 

If you read his blog (see https://wiseforreadingma.org/blog) or watch him in the candidate forums or Hello Reading on RCTV, you will have seen him discuss and write about his concerns with and ideas for how, as a school committee member, he can improve some of the things RPS does, such as our policies for identifying dyslexia, our anti-bullying policies, and our school committee’s communications and social media policies. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Through our regular communication for the past 4 plus years, I can assure you there is almost no aspect of the school committee responsibilities and school-related topics, on which he hasn’t come up to speed. Be it the school budget, cost center transfers, math paths, state curriculum standards, teacher contracts, bullying policies, elementary reading and writing programs, socio-emotional priorities, late start for high school, MTSS, sports/activity fees, sufficiency of AP classes, superintendent reviews, professional development, closing the achievement gap, staff turnover, kindergarten space issues, collapsing tracks, special education and communication audits – and much more – you name it, he is already quite knowledgeable about it. And for anything, he does not yet know or that newly arises–he will dive in and learn, enthusiastically.

Finally, I can think of no more worthy a successor to succeed current school committee member Nick Boivin’s seat, than Tom Wise. I know some residents (including me) initially were disappointed in Nick’s decision not to seek another term, because the school committee greatly benefited from Nick’s analytical perspective and attention to detail, his refusal to be a rubber stamp, and his willingness to ask, in open session, challenging, but necessary, questions. My disappointment changed when Tom told me he was running. Like Nick, Tom can analyze a situation without missing important details, spot the issues quickly, and be unafraid to pose whatever questions are needed to ensure that he (and the public) understands all the short and long term implications and consequences of school committee decisions before he makes his vote. Reading citizens can rest assured – nothing will get past Tom Wise.

I hope you will join me in voting for Tom Wise for a three-year school committee seat, on April 2, 2019, at the Field house at Reading Memorial High School. 

Connection to “Finis Origine Pendet”

Eileen Litterio

School Committee Candidates Connection to “Finis Origine Pendet”

Three ancient Latin words. Eighteen letters total. What is the connection between these three words and our town election for School Committee on April 2nd? Actually, there is a significant relationship between these words and the three candidates who are running for a seat on the School Committee. The three candidates I am referring to are Tom Wise, Chuck Robinson, and Alicia Williams (Write-In).

The instant I heard Tom Wise speak at a recent “Meet and Greet” informational gathering, I knew that he exemplified the meaning of a favorite phrase of mine – the motto of a local private school, which translated means the “end depends upon the beginning.” In other words, the way you end up in life depends upon your start. I was struck with Tom Wise’s astute emphasis on establishing policies and programs for early identification, intervention, and mediation for students experiencing literacy challenges in Grades K-3. He is absolutely correct. Tom possesses the research skills that verify the benefits of early explicit literacy instruction, the necessity for teacher support, and parental involvement. He is also well-versed in data analysis, budgetary management, and cost-saving strategies. With two of his children in the Reading Public Schools, Tom has been actively involved in school-related issues for several years and would be a tremendous asset to addressing the challenges facing Reading Schools in the near future. With Chuck Robinson and Tom Wise elected to three-year terms on the School Committee, I can envision thoughtful, reflective, competent, and transparent outcomes for the children and parents of Reading. Both these candidates understand the importance of establishing an academic climate where young students can develop the confidence and self-esteem that they will carry with them throughout their educational journey. Please join with me on April 2nd in electing Tom Wise and Chuck Robinson for three-year terms on the Reading School Committee.

In addition to the above mentioned three-year positions, a two-year seat is also open for a highly qualified “Write-In” candidate – Alicia Williams. Alicia is a dynamic and passionate advocate for quality education for ALL children. As a special education parent with extensive background knowledge of childhood disabilities, as well as her leadership role as former Co-Chair of the Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC), Alicia is uniquely positioned to address topics such as dyslexia and ADHD. She has a real-world understanding of the challenges both students and parents face navigating special education regulations and often acts as a conduit for connecting families with the services they need. Alicia will be a tremendous asset as a two-year member on the school committee, especially since she has already attended SC meetings on a regular basis, has often asked the difficult questions, and has closely followed district initiatives. Alicia’s goals as a school committee member will focus on program accountability, fiscal responsibility, and effective communication. Therefore, it is without reservation that I wholeheartedly encourage all voters to join with me on April 2nd in placing Alicia Williams on the “Write-In” line for the two-year School Committee seat on April 2nd.

Tom Wise for School Committee

Karl Weld

There are many reasons to vote for Tom Wise for School Committee. With 2 children in the district, he is fully invested in making sure we are providing the quality education we all want for our children. As a member of the Joshua Eaton Task Force, he was knee-deep in trying to help resolve some longstanding issues with the way the district services some of our most needy learners. As a volunteer coach, he spends countless hours working with children outside of academics. I know first hand how much he cares about the kids under his direction, he’s coached my daughter for 4 years. He shares his personal drive for excellence with his athletes. There’s no reason he won’t bring that same passion and drive to the School Committee.

But mostly when I think of Tom, I keep coming back to the Casey Affleck line in Good Will Hunting after Will destroys the pompous graduate student in the Harvard Square bar. After the others walk away, Affleck’s character leans in, grabs a peanut, and says to Minnie Driver, “My boy’s wicked smaht.” Well, Tom is indeed “wicked smaht”. He will thoroughly research an issue, diving deep into the weeds, to source out a solution. He will ask the right questions. He will think outside all of the standard boxes. He will listen to all points of view before proposing a course of action. In short, he will lead.

These are all qualities we should expect on the School Committee. There is one more – perhaps the most important. Accountability. It goes without saying that Tom will hold himself accountable for the decisions he makes and the policies he advocates for. More importantly, he will hold the district administration accountable for the decisions it makes. For too many years the School Committee has deferred to the administration on policy decisions that should be within the purview of the School Committee. The School Committee sets policy. The administration implements it. Of course, it is a collaborative effort. We can’t expect citizen volunteers to know every last detail regarding education mandates and law, and current trends in educating children. But in the end, we elect the School Committee to lead the district, not simply approve whatever the administration proposes. Tom will defer when appropriate. He will not abdicate his responsibility as an elected leader.

I believe Tom has the attitude, temperament, and intelligence to be a real asset to the community in overseeing such an important municipal function as the education of our children. I encourage you to join me in voting for Tom Wise for a 3-year seat on the Reading School Committee on April 2nd.

Join Me in Making the “Wise” Choice

Michelle Greenwalt

Good public education requires public involvement, not just public comment. Anyone who has spent time on social media knows that there is no shortage of public comment. But what we need is someone who is willing to put in the time and effort required to bring positive change. Tom Wise has the knowledge, drive, and determination to bring that positive change to Reading Public Schools. 

I’ve known Tom since we moved to Reading in 2015. He quickly became my “go to” person for questions as we began to navigate RPS with our children. I have consistently been impressed with his knowledge and understanding of our district, from advanced programs to special education needs. I truly believe that Tom has workable plans to move our district forward.

A familiar face at School Committee and Budget meetings, Tom has followed the decisions made in our district closely over the years. He is passionate about early interventions for our most vulnerable students, researching and building his knowledge of dyslexia and other learning challenges. He knows that the earlier we identify our students who need more help the more opportunities they will have open to them as they move through our schools and beyond. His time serving on the Joshua Eaton Task Force with a team of administrators, teachers, and parents gave him an inside look at challenges our district faces every day.

Tom’s goals are focused on communication, accountability, and sustainability. Improved communication between the district and families is strongly needed. His proposed use of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely) goals will help keep our administration accountable to its constituents – our children, families and fellow residents. And in this age of tight budgets, building sustainable success is more important than ever.

I urge you to join me in making the “Wise” choice on April 2nd and vote for Tom Wise for School Committee.

Vote Wise!

Judy Oliver

Attention Reading voters,

Anyone who has lived in a community for twenty plus years has witnessed change. Some of those changes are small and impact only a few, while others, like a tax over-ride, impact us all. Reading is no stranger to change.

As a mother of four children, whose ages span sixteen years, I have been involved with Reading Public Schools for Twenty three years. Two generations bring about a lot of changes in the field of education, and they have directly impacted my family. The Math and Language Arts programs alone have been changed so often, I don’t even know where they stand today! Because my first three children are seven years apart, I can honestly say, not one of them received the same education. I’d be lying if I say it’s gotten better through the years and I know I am not alone in this feeling.

I write to you today to say I am proud to be supporting Thomas Wise. Although I haven’t known Tom for a long time, anyone who meets him can tell that he is a man of integrity. I have worked alongside of Tom in regards to past school issues and was genuinely impressed with his calm yet confident demeanor. He goes above and beyond with his research of FACTS and anyone that has followed his campaign can clearly see his determination. He isn’t afraid to confront sensitive issues like discrimination and bullying, two problems that sadly are rearing their ugly heads in our schools. I am confident Tom will work hard to combat them and keep our students safe.

Throughout the years I have also seen administration and faculty go through its own highs and lows. The job of the school committee appears to be confusing to many parents and they are left not knowing where to turn. I know Tom is committed to clarifying and enforcing existing policy and if necessary, creating a new policy to give our children the best possible education. Being a member of the school committee is a huge responsibility and we all should keep that in mind when we vote on April 2nd. I hope you will join me in making the WISE choice.

Why I’m voting for Tom Wise

Dan McGrath

I proudly display a Tom Wise for School Committee sign on my front lawn. Friends and neighbors have asked, why do you support Tom Wise?

The reasons for my support are numerous. I could go on endlessly about his many amazing attributes, as a candidate and a person, that makes him the ideal candidate. His preparedness and attention to detail are second to none. He’s a man of high intellect and compassion. He’s a believer of service before self. He’s a man of impeccable character and he wants to make a positive change to our Town and our schools.

Tom has two children in the Reading School system, so he’s fully invested in the direction of our schools. He knows the day to day struggle as a parent of today’s youth. He lives the balance of academics, athletics, home life, and more. We, parents of today’s students in Reading, need more representation on the School Committee. Decisions that are currently being made by the School Committee directly impact us and our children. We need a seat at the table and a representative voice. Tom Wise is that man.

I enthusiastically endorse Tom Wise and hope the voters of Reading will join me in voting for him, Reading School Committee – 3 Year Seat, on April 2nd.

He’s the Wise choice!

Supporting Tom Wise for School Committee

Rebecca Liberman

I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Tom Wise for a 3-year position on the Reading School Committee. Tom has creative ideas for making school committee policies more effective, for better serving our special education students, and for improving goal-setting and evaluation for the superintendent and the district as a whole.

Tom is a leader in an asset management company in Boston, with expertise in data analysis, budget preparation, and the use of SMART goals. This experience will be invaluable as he works to improve accountability and to make sure that the district serves our students as effectively as possible while trying to control costs so that the override funds last as long as possible.

What I admire most about Tom is his willingness to dig in and research the issues facing our schools and to listen to multiple viewpoints, helping to find creative solutions.

I hope you will consider joining me in supporting Tom Wise for School Committee, and please remember to vote on April 2!