Contested races, charter amendments on East Longmeadow ballot

EAST LONGMEADOW – There are two contested races and eight questions for the proposed amendments to the city charter on the ballot for the June 8 election.

There are two candidates vying for a three-year seat on the school committee: titular Sarah Truoiolo and Dr Aimee Dalenta.

Truoiolo is seeking reelection for a second term on the school committee. His experience in public education at Springfield Public Schools spans approximately 16 years in the field with seven years of classroom teaching and the remainder focused on educational policy work. After teaching in the classroom, she changed her job to being a coach in building-based mathematics, helping teachers develop their pedagogy and practice as well as their content knowledge. From there, Truoiolo went on to become a District Administrator, overseeing curriculum, professional development, teaching, and different types of math assessment opportunities for the entire Springfield Public School District. Last year, she moved from the role of supervisor to the role of director of K-12 mathematics for the district.

When she first applied for a committee seat, Truoiolo wanted to contribute her knowledge and academic work as a student and as practical work as a public educator and administrator at the district level. After three years, she wants to continue this work. Among the areas she is proud to have been a part of, the East Longmeadow Public School District has been accepted by the Massachusetts School Building Authority for the development of a new high school in town. Before the pandemic, in unison with the city council, the school committee was able to secure funding for the purchase of a Google Chromebook or an iPad for each student. As a result, students were better equipped once the district was pushed toward distance learning status, she said.

Since arriving on board, Truoiolo says she has learned a lot about the intersections of government agencies and the need to collaborate, especially when it comes to topics such as the district budget to ensure the committee represents equitably the needs of taxpayers, but also really push forward to convey the needs of an entire neighborhood.

“From my current position, I was not necessarily the voice that defended this in my role in Springfield, but in my role on the school committee, I was the voice that defended and balanced these two necessary but competing interests. both – the needs of taxpayers and the role they pay in funding the school budget, but also the needs of the budget itself and ensuring that we move forward in East Longmeadow Schools ”, she declared.

Going forward, Truoiolo said one of the areas of concern is the re-acclimatization of students in a post-COVID-19 world. She stressed the balance between academic needs, as all standards were not taught as they would be in a physical classroom and unfinished learning – which she noted was not the fault of the teacher – with socio-emotional needs. She spoke of celebrating the gains that have been learned under the circumstances, but also of prioritizing some of the challenges that have been endured over the past year.

Dalenta has been in education her entire adult life, starting as a fifth grade teacher at East Longmeadow. When she started her family, she said that she took a step back from her work as a teacher, but kept one foot in the door by organizing preschool classes, working for the children’s service. recreation of the city and as director of Christian education for her. church.

Initially, Dalenta said she believed these roles would ultimately lead to a return to the elementary classroom, but instead shifted her path to higher education. From there she continued to teach education as a professor at Springfield College. She received her doctorate in education in 2019 from American International College in Springfield. She is currently Professor of Education and Head of Department at Springfield Technical Community College.

Her decision to run was motivated during the pandemic when people were “divided,” she said. Dalenta said that although she never envisioned being the person who would come and be able to heal everything, she said she kept hearing that people weren’t as well heard as they did. ‘they could be and could help him out there. She mentioned having a lot of experience in education and making connections with people.

“Working with a lot of people from very different backgrounds, I’m very comfortable in this space helping people find common ground,” she said. “It was the right time to do it and something I had been thinking about doing for many years.”

Generally speaking, Dalenta said that through city decision-making bodies and committees, communication could be improved. Specifically, she highlighted the reduction in funding to the school district’s budget for fiscal year 2022.

“Things are happening and there are obviously a lot of complexities behind the decision making, but one of the things that I and others saw was really that communication could be improved a bit… so that in the end after all, there could be a better or different outcome that would be more beneficial, especially for the children of the city, ”she said.

In addition to the school committee, three candidates are running for two three-year seats on the city council. The terms of Councilors Donald J. Anderson and Vice President Thomas C. O’Connor both expire this year, but Anderson did not seek re-election. Alongside incumbent O’Connor are nominees Connor O’Shea and Cassandra Cerasuolo. O’Shea works for Big Y as a software developer and ran for one of two open board seats last year, but lost to incumbents Michael Kane and Marilyn Richards. Cerasuolo is the owner of My Main Squeeze on Shaker Road.

Local municipal elections take place on Tuesday, June 8. The four ridings will vote at Birchland Park Middle, 50 Hanward Hill, on June 8 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are 12,251 registered voters in East Longmeadow, according to City Clerk / Council Clerk Jeanne R. Quaglietti. In the past, voter turnout has ranged between 6% and 16%, Quaglietti said.

For Tuesday’s election, she expects a turnout of 10%. This election is also the first time that there has been the possibility of postal voting in local elections, and Quaglietti reports that there have been a total of 25 requests.

East Longmeadow is still maintaining COVID-19 guidelines for the election, which means masks are required to enter the polling station. Poll workers will disinfect the voting booths and each voter will receive their own pen to mark their ballot.

About Ethel Partin

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