In an effort to give residents a last chance to hear from the candidates before the April 10 Town Election, Stoughton Patch sent a questionnaire to each of the candidates running in a contested race.
The questions are printed as they were presented to the candidates and their answers are printed as they were received (unedited).
The following responses are from School Committee Candidate Allan Mills:
- Background information (how long you've served or your prior service on various town boards) and any other pertinent info you would like readers/voters to know about you.
How long have you lived in Stoughton? 41 Years
Married 3 children. All my children attended Stoughton Schools, All with College Degrees up to and including Doctorate. 8 grandchildren.
Occupation? Former Educator with 35 years experience, Part time Public Utility Company Consultant, 18 years. Mass Save, Bay State Gas, Volt Corporation, and DMC Energy Systems. Currently a licensed Real Estate Broker, specializing in Real Estate Management. Veteran-officer in The United States Army. Notary Public
I have the experience and the professional training i.e., BS in Mathematics/Education, MS in Public Management, and a C.A.G.S. in Administration.
I have served on the School Committee for 21 years, 4 times as Chairman and Vice Chairman. I work well with others in defining a vision and implementing strategies for improvement and innovation.
What other elected/appointed offices have you held?
Library Trustee, Town meeting Representative 30 years, Municipal Operations Committee, Municipal Regulations Committee. Board of Directors Stoughton Media Access Corporation.
- Why are you running for this position?
We have made consistent and measureable improvement in Stoughton Public Schools.
I have personally been involved in establishing a full day kindergarten, Transition to a Middle School educational format, Pioneered the development of Stoughton Academy, Established The Stoughton Schools Hall of Fame, I Wrote the Stoughton Schools Residency Policy; which has saved the town over $500,000 since its inception.
Served on 3 building renovation projects; including the Stoughton Town Hall. Encouraged development of the Stoughton pre-school program. Fostered $5 million in Medicaid reimbursement sent directly to the town revenues. Stoughton Schools have developed an outstanding IT program that is beyond our colleagues in the State of Massachusetts. Continue to provide, in house, higher education opportunities, such as the Quincy College program. I have and will continue to foster innovative and sound educational policies and management processes.
- What separates you from your opponent Why should residents vote for you?
I have made and continue to display a commitment to improvement of Stoughton Schools. I have a record of performance and innovation in our schools. I am well aware that the benchmark for any town is the performance and functionality of its schools.
We are a diverse community which fosters performance for all levels of the student population. I have maintained and continue to demand the highest performance levels from all our employees. My opponent has failed to respond to community needs and failed to be a productive member of the school committee.
- What are the most important issues facing the schools?
Student achievement beyond MCAS scores. To create 21st Century Schools across the curriculum. . Preparing students to become visionary thinkers. Maintaining a positive climate and culture within Stoughton Schools.
- What is your take on the procurement issue between the town and the schools? How can the relationship between the town side and schools be improved in general?
The procurement issue is an unfortunate and unnecessary obstacle in the continued progress of our community. Past audit reports never found any issues with the procurement process that has been historically in place in Stoughton.
Purchasing should be done by the major department heads who have technical and valued experience within their fields. Common purchase items can and should be done in a cooperative environment.
- Statements of interest were filed for both Stoughton High and the South School. How much of a priority is it to replace or renovate Stoughton High School? What about the South School? Which school should be the district's highest priority if MSBA [Massachusetts School Building Authority] funding is available for only one school?
Stoughton High School remains the primary concern for our town. The main building is over 90 years and has little functional value as a 21st century educational institution. This high school facility must be attuned to societal and community changes. This building should be a Community Resource Center encompassing the total needs of the community. This would include courses geared for learners beyond the high school paradigm. We currently offer college courses and an alternative high school within the existing facility. Our vision must go beyond the historical school uses and encompass community development for all levels of the population.