by Aavedon Roy
As a first time voter, I am proud to cast one of my votes for Dr. Eileen Jay for School Committee. I have only met Dr. Jay in person once but her work on school related issues has impacted much of my secondary schooling. I am writing specifically to highlight Dr. Jay’s commitment to student mental health understanding the impact on long term outcomes.
In Lexington, we pride ourselves on academic excellence. Instead of just talking about MCAS scores and Ivy League admissions, Dr. Jay bucked the trend focusing on mental health. She made it acceptable for multiple demographics to talk openly about mental health and stress. She has organized both parent and student discussions because all perspectives are needed. She never engaged in the reductive soft bigotry of low expectations by assuming that merely lowering academic standards would reduce stress. Rather she advocated for structures to help all students reach their own potential.
She recognized that classrooms must be truly inclusive and that anything less impacts mental health and academic results. That’s why she has been a strong proponent of universal design learning (UDL), decolonizing the curriculum, robust health education, confronting discipline disparity, DEI goals and generally increasing access to mental health supports in school. Even her unpopular position for elementary school HW was about supporting student mental health because she recognized that a sudden ramp up in work can be very stressful for students with executive function challenges.
She gets that if ALL students are not affirmed and supported then there will be continued discipline, mental health and achievement gaps and that these are not disparate issues but all tied together. I hope that she will continue this advocacy because it’s not just about the GPA. Learn more at https://jayforschoolcommittee.com/2022.
— Aavedon Roy, Bertwell Road
by Sara Mei
I’m Sara Mei, the student representative on the Lexington School Committee, and I have had the pleasure of working with Eileen Jay for the past three years. Eileen was chairwoman at the time I was elected to serve my sophomore year; she welcomed and helped me get acclimated to what it was like on the School Committee. Being a student representative and a nonvoting member, many overlook the impact that we can have in our communities. However, from the start, Eileen, along with Dr. Hackett, emphasized the importance of student voice, encouraging me to participate and share my ideas. She has mentored me through the ups and downs of serving this amazing Lexington community.
As I grew more accustomed to talking in front of an audience of staff, educators and community members, I realized the profound impact that these elected officials can have on our school community — the simple strike of a pen or a roll call vote can change the entirety of a kiddo’s school experience. I realized how fortunate we are to have elected leaders that truly have the best of LPS students in their heart. Eileen Jay epitomized the characteristics of a leader and what our district needs in terms of caring and compassionate leadership for our students. The best thing that elected officials can do is listen — and listening is what makes Eileen stand out from most.
Being plagued with mostly COVID related discussions for the past two years, I’ve seen Eileen put student and staff safety first through supporting social distancing, masking and all the mitigation measures that we are in the process of easing now our third year into the pandemic. I have watched Eileen tackle divisive issues such as redistricting through hearing from community members impacted by each of the proposed plans. She has reviewed budgets, advocated for curriculum improvements and listened to community members. Being a high achieving school district, she has pushed for academic rigor while paying attention to the student achievement gap and student mental health. Eileen is not afraid to vote based on what she believes is best for students.
I support Eileen Jay for her reelection to the Lexington School Committee.
— Sara Mei, Gleason Road
by Weidong Wang
I am writing to support Eileen Jay for her re-election campaign to the School Committee. I have known her for many years, and I have always been impressed by her.
I first got to know Eileen when she joined CAAL. As a 2nd generation Chinese American, she brought to us new perspectives. When she decided to run six years ago, we were all thrilled. I had the pleasure to work for her campaign.
Ever since she joined the School Committee, she has been working hard and tirelessly. She was re-elected 3 years ago for her second term. During her six-year tenure, she served as the Chair for two years and another two years as the Vice Chair. She is also very much into the DEI initiatives, strategic planning, and new policies.
During the pandemic time, the School Committee had a very tough job. Eileen worked along with the other committee members to put the student’s well-being first and helped guide the school district in this unprecedented time.
Her experience with the school district and the challenge for the school is obvious when you talk to her. In this difficult time, it is more than ever that we need someone with experience and a proven track record to help our school district to move to the next chapter.
Eileen cares deeply about the students and the staff. She would spend time listening to the community, talking to parents to understand their needs, and encouraging students. She often offers to meet or chat online with whoever wants to talk.
Experience, Leadership, Empathy, these are what Eileen brings for the School Committee and to the whole Lexington community. Please join me in supporting Eileen and vote for her on Monday, March 7.
Weidong Wang, Reed Street
by Anna Monaco
I hope you will join me in voting for Eileen Jay on Monday, March 7. Eileen’s extensive experience, passion for and commitment to Lexington Public Schools make her an exceptional candidate for re-election to the Lexington School Committee. With six years on the School Committee and two years as chair, Eileen has the proven ability, knowledge, and thoughtful leadership needed to guide our schools.
As the former Clarke Middle School Principal, Assistant Principal and special education teacher, I have worked with Eileen not only as a member of the School Committee, but also as a member of the School Site Council and PTO. As a parent, a volunteer and an elected official, she has been a part of the Lexington School Community for over two decades. She knows the schools in depth, works collaboratively, and is responsive to community concerns.
Eileen is passionate about education, a wonderful listener and works hard to solve problems by getting to the heart of the issue. I fully support Eileen Jay for School Committee.
Anna Monaco, Graham Road
By Kim McCormick
The Lexington School Committee election is on March 7. As many of you know this is a volunteer position that requires hours and hours of very detailed study and research plus hours and hours of meetings and deep discussions with community members and school leaders about sometimes difficult topics with many perspectives to consider. This position requires an open mind and the duty is to the educational experience of students.
Eileen Jay was the first School Committee member that I met upon moving here 6 years ago. I was immediately impressed with her passion for supporting students and educators. Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with Eileen in a number of different volunteer opportunities including the years when she was the School Committee representative for Lexington Education Foundation. As we worked together I observed that Eileen is a patient listener, seeks common ground, and truly has the interests of human beings as students and educators at heart.
Eileen shows up in our community for special events, for recognitions, for small group meetings, for students, for educators, and for families. She’s always available to listen and learn and shares facts in a deliberate and clear manner. Eileen’s leadership has helped get us through the pandemic and I look forward to the innovative and inspiring things she and the committee seek to support in the coming years.
I am voting for and fully support Eileen Jay for the Lexington Public School Committee.
Please vote in this election and show your appreciation and support for this important town position.
Kim McCormick, Maple Street
by Anil Ahuja
Eileen Jay has the experience we need to help lead our schools given her experience as a School Committee member for the past 6 years. She has proven capabilities, knowledge, and brings stability which is something we desperately need. LPS is developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) curriculum and Eileen is on the DEI Community Input Team to work on this curriculum. Eileen worked on LPS Strategic Plan that developed the district’s mission, vision, and core values. She cares about students’ social, emotional, and mental health and has a long track record of working on student stress and mental health.
Eileen’s experience will be crucial in planning for a new/renovated high school. During her time on the School Committee, she has been involved with oversight of the construction process for two new schools – Hastings Elementary School and Lexington Children’s Place (LCP) preschool. She knows all phases of the construction process from feasibility studies to design and final construction. She has worked on the fiscal planning for school projects and already has the knowledge to effectively collaborate with school and municipal leaders on financial planning for the high school.
I strongly support Eileen Jay and encourage you to vote for her to the Lexington School Committee.
Anil Ahuja, Leonard Road, TMM Precinct 5
by Audra Myerberg
Please join me in voting for Eileen Jay for School Committee on Monday, March 7. I have had the honor of knowing Eileen since 2014 when we worked together on Bill Hurley’s school committee campaign. I was impressed by her then and remain so today.
Eileen’s qualifications for the position of school committee member are obvious but it is her attention to detail, calm demeanor, willingness to listen to all sides and unwavering commitment to our student’s mental health that has me coming back to support her re-election.
Eileen cares very deeply for the school district her own children attended and while this has been an incredibly difficult time for our community she has made every school committee decision based on the well-being of both our educators and our students. A balancing act that has been challenging but rewarding as we now celebrate being back in person at our 11 schools.
Now is the time for a steady hand, a school committee member with history and a long-term commitment to LPS, its educators and students. While change may be tempting, it is the long view we need to keep in our sight as we move through the pandemic with greater mental health and academic resources for our students.
I am confident that Eileen Jay will help lead us into the next chapter with our students as her No. 1 priority.
— Audra Myerberg, Bedford Street
by Kamala Soparkar
Please join me in voting to re-elect Eileen Jay to the School Committee on March 7. I have known Eileen for several years as a parent of a high school student and discussed with her many of the issues high school students and their families face. I have always been impressed by Eileen’s thoughtful and measured approach to any issue. I always appreciate that she puts students’ needs at the center of her thinking, while also taking into account their parents, teachers and the physical plants, all of which contribute to a student’s best learning environment.
Over the past six years on the school committee both as chair and as vice-chair, Eileen has dealt directly with the many kinds of issues that school committees face. For example — Policy: Drafting and honing the homework policy. Hiring and supervision of the superintendent: Designing the search and hiring Dr. Hackett. Physical plants: The new Hastings School. As we look to the future and continue to emerge and confront the ongoing social emotional and educational costs of the pandemic to all of our students, I believe Eileen’s willingness to listen to all perspectives, her openness to new ideas and the stability that her experience provides is what our town needs to continue the excellence of the Lexington Public Schools.
— Kamala Soparkar, Winter Street
by Bill Hurley
Eileen Jay is a highly educated member of the Lexington School Committee, having been chair and vice chair during her tenure. She is committed to the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students as evidenced by her leadership in these positions. I witnessed these when I was chair of the committee a few years ago.
Also, Eileen is an active listener who encourages different perspectives and options of colleagues and the community before she casts a vote. She is a life long learner experienced in education research and effective teaching and learning. Her focus is to support the development of skills and interests of all Lexington students.
As a superintendent of schools for 14 years, including one year as interim superintendent of LPS after my retirement, I appreciate the importance of a highly functioning school committee. We live at a time when the nature of traditional schooling, as we knew it, is quite different for today’s students, staff and parents. Eileen is uniquely qualified to address today’s challenges for governing policies. I encourage you to visit her website at jayforschoolcommittee.com to learn more about why I believe she is deserving of one of your votes for Lexington School Committee.
— Bill Hurley, Young Street