My name is Rich McGowan, and I am running for School Committee in North Reading. My wife, Wendy, and I moved to North Reading in 1998. We have one son, who will graduate in June from North Reading High School. I manage the operations team for a small investment firm located in Boston, where my focus is on maximizing limited resources while improving efficiency and accuracy in our day-to-day investment and client-service activities. Previously I worked in various operational and management roles in the specialty retail industry. I have a degree in Business Administration from Salem State University. My interest in education led to action when I volunteered to serve on the L.D. Batchelder School Council in 2009. Since then, I have served on the school councils at both the middle school and the high school. From 2013 to 2015, I was a member of NRMS 2.0, a working group put together by middle school Principal O’Connell to develop and implement a strategic plan to improve the middle school, in anticipation of the move into the new building. I also served on the search committee for the new high school principal in 2014.
I am running for School Committee because those experiences have reinforced my belief in the power of public education and how strong, professional leadership of a school system can have a tremendous positive impact on our children’s future. There are a lot of challenges facing public education, and the School Committee must do everything in its power to help position the district to best face those challenges.
Undoubtedly, the first concern of every district is how to allocate funding. I look forward to being an advocate for the schools with the Board of Selectmen and with the commonwealth. Working on school councils at all three levels has given me an appreciation of the long- and short-term impacts of budget decisions on a school. Decisions often have ramifications beyond merely adding or eliminating one position or program. I look forward to working with the administration to deploy resources in the right places.
Strategic Planning is key to the long-term success of the school system. A strong strategic plan provides an important framework in which to make current year budget and policy decisions. I am excited to help realize NRPS 2021 goals and as well as be involved in creating the plan for NRPS 2026.
Changing Social Environment
When I think of the changes that have occurred since my son entered kindergarten 13 years ago, I am amazed. And sometimes it feels like those changes are accelerating out of control. I look forward to helping to foster a safe, supportive environment in our schools, where all students are able learn, discover, grow and excel.
These are only a few of the challenges facing our schools. I am energized by the prospect of tackling them. While I hope you’ll agree that these issues are critically important, I also look forward to hearing about any other concerns you may have. I thank you for your consideration and ask you respectfully for your vote on May 8.