My name is Scott Buckley and I am running for School Committee. My wife and I moved to North Reading 7 years ago, primarily because of the great schools, and we have been blessed with three children who attend the Little School.
I am an attorney in Boston and am Director of Operations for my company. My education includes Boston College, where I was the President of the Heights Boys and Girls Club, and BC Law School, where I served as a Guardian ad Litem for girls in the Boston area through my work with the BC Law Juvenile Rights Clinic.
When I moved to North Reading, I met a parent at a PTO meeting who invited me to join the Community Impact Team’s K-12 Action Committee, which I have been part of ever since. I then joined North Reading United for Education, which focused on the budgetary issues facing North Reading’s schools. That experience motivated me to attend School Committee meetings, especially during the budget season, which I have done consistently since that time. I have never held an elected position, but hope the School Committee seat will be my first.
I love the expression “you are exactly where you are supposed to be.” That is how I feel about running for School Committee in North Reading this year. I believe it is important to volunteer in the community where I raise my children and to become involved in their education. The challenge we all face is how best to become involved. For me, I began attending School Committee meetings when my son was in preschool. My intention was not to run for office, but to better understand the challenges facing North Reading’s education system and to contribute to the conversation about solutions.
We are fortunate to have a committed and experienced School Committee which has helped ensure North Reading children have access to a wonderful, inclusive education. Mr. Bower’s decision not to seek re-election opens an opportunity for someone to bring fresh views while also learning from knowledgeable colleagues. I believe that my experience, as an attorney and a father of three young children, will be a nice complement to the current committee. As a parent of young children, I will provide a different viewpoint, since the current members primarily have older children, many of whom have graduated high school. My familiarity running business operations will help me prioritize needs when balancing an annual budget. My common sense approach to negotiation will be an asset when working with unions, always with the intent to balance the financial restraints of our budget with offering fair compensation and benefits to attract and retain the best employees. My attention to detail will be valuable when drafting policies and procedures which help keep the School District operating efficiently and in compliance with all state and federal regulations.
While the budget deficit is my primary current concern, the School Committee position is a three year commitment. Therefore, it is critical to understand how I make decisions, as many unexpected challenges will arise in the next three years. When addressing any issue, I utilize a four step approach. First, clearly define the problem. Second, seek as many thoughts from as many viewpoints as possible. Third, try to build a consensus, since the best and most accepted decisions include the views of many. Finally, have the courage and confidence to make the decision I believe is best for those I represent. I would appreciate your support on May 2nd.