Candidate Statement: Richard de Mont

By contributor,

The Hopkinton School District is in a period of transition and there is much to be done to keep Hopkinton on track as one of the best districts in the state. We have a new Superintendent coming on board and School Committee negotiations with the HTA to complete, on whose Subcommittee I serve on. We also are just beginning to start the process to reach town wide consensus on the Center School project, as well as looking at other capital projects, particularly at Elmwood. I am actively involved in these various projects and would like to see them through to completion. Accordingly, I am seeking reelection to School Committee and respectfully ask for your vote on May 16.

This is a critical time for Hopkinton. In this business, if you don’t progress, you fall behind. Education is a continuum. We set goals, reach them and then set new and more difficult goals. I’m proud to be associated with a District that has consistently and aggressively set and met ambitious goals, pursued innovation, achievement and efficiencies in all areas, including curriculum, service delivery, facilities and budget in order to deliver the best educational product at the most economical cost. In this regard, Hopkinton’s educational cost per student is approximately $1,500.00 less than the state average. Our citizens, my fellow Committee members, past and present, and a fine administration team, led by Dr. Phelan, have collectively and consistently made a commitment to quality education for Hopkinton and we have delivered, helping to make Hopkinton one of the most desirable communities to live in, in the state.

We presently face the challenge of coming together as a town to reach consensus on the Center School Project. Emotions have run high and there has been some divisiveness created over the issue. It is important to step back and note that the one constant, no matter where one stood in support or against the proposed school, was that the people were passionate about and in support of our children, the schools and our town, but just had differing views on how to best achieve our goals. Hopefully we can build on this common ground and come to a town wide consensus on how best to address our Center School needs. I supported the proposed Center School building project both on economical as well as educational grounds. However, inasmuch as this project did not receive the necessary support, I now look forward to working with all interested parties to find a solution that will receive town wide support.

I do support longer grade spans, if possible, as I believe are they are more educationally beneficial to the children, especially those children with special needs and on IEP plans. Those children would particularly benefit from the continuity of having the same specialist over a longer period and avoid transitional down time for both the student and the specialists. However, what we end up doing will in large part be driven by what the people will support and I am committed to an open dialogue and finding the best solution for our children and the taxpayers. My own, uncompromising drivers in this process are value to the taxpayers and educational benefit to the students, in whatever form that takes place.

Like many other volunteers who commit their time and expertise to making Hopkinton a very special place to live, I have been committed to public service and the prospect of giving back. I served on the Board of Health as a Member, Vice Chairman and Chairman for ten years before being elected a member of the School Committee in 2008. I have also coached youth sports, am a member of the Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce, Hopkinton Historical Society and am also a member of the John Warren Lodge, A.F. & A.M.

Serving on the School Committee has been one of the most rewarding, and challenging, experiences of my life. The School Committee oversees a budget of approximately $32,000.000.00 and is constantly seeking new opportunities to deliver quality education in an environment of decreasing revenue. I am proud to serve on a Committee and with an Administration that has consistently advanced local education, in a district recognized as one of the top achieving districts in the state, and within a budget that reflects the realities of our current economic situation. I ask for your vote so that I may continue my service to the town.

Richard graduated from U. Mass – Boston, in 1988 with a B.S. in Finance, magna cum laude, and New England School of Law, in 1992 with a Juris Doctorate, cum laude. He is married to Bonnie Slater-de Mont and has two children, Elizabeth, 23 and Slater, 20, a freshman at R.I.T