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In Support of Sarah Fox and Alison Taylor for School Committee

I am writing this letter to support Sarah Fox and Alison Taylor's run for the school committee this year. A good friend once told me if you want something done well, ask the busiest woman in the room. I think of this saying often and believe it applies to both women.


Sarah, a mom of 6, has shown herself to be a consistent voice for our students on the school committee for the last three years. She shows up to the meetings prepared, advocates for students, and does her work in public. Sarah continually shows class and grace during school committee meetings, while the rest of the committee dismisses her motions or tries to discredit her statements. She has been a member of the building committee and the chair of the facilities committee, where she worked to create a 10-year capital master plan highlighting critical needs, priorities, timelines, and budget drivers. Sarah gives our superintendent an honest review every year and has continued to push the superintendent and her committee to complete a proper five-year strategic plan.


I had never met Alison Taylor but spoke to her for the first time early this spring when she considered running for the school committee. Alison is a full-time working single mom who grew up in Marblehead, and her background and education are in civil engineering. As somebody who has worked for three different civil engineering firms over the last twenty years, I know firsthand that this profession requires discipline, focus, and, most notably, the ability to fulfill an objective. All of these characteristics are needed to be a successful school committee member and I believe Alison possesses all of them.


I have watched all three candidate forums where Alison seemed to out-perform seasoned incumbents. While everyone who volunteers for town government should be thanked for their service as a community, many boards, especially our school committee, have lacked the professional acumen to perform many of their required tasks. These tasks include understanding the school budget, setting goals for our superintendent that provide data on our students achievements, what constitutes a real strategic plan, how to give a professional review, and most importantly, how to process and discuss information in real-time. Alison has all of these skills, and they have been on display during the last three forums; although I am not sure she and Sarah will agree on every issue, I believe they both have the common focus of our students to guide them on their respective paths towards a more cohesive and professional school committee.


It is time to put our students first. For this reason, I will be supporting Sarah Fox and Alison Taylor for School Committee on June 21st.


Catherine Martin
West Shore Drive, Marblehead


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