Submitted by Kevin Donahue
Hello fellow Milton residents, my name is Kevin Donahue and I am running for a position on the School Committee. I am a graduate of Milton High School, and this fall will mark the beginning of my second trip through the Milton Public School system; this time as a parent, with all the associated hopes and dreams.
The education I received in the Milton Public Schools was exceptional. It enabled me to excel academically and to gain acceptance to the college of my choice, Dartmouth College. At the university level, I found myself well-prepared to succeed in an atmosphere of rigorous academics and high expectations.
I met my wife, Erin, while studying at Dartmouth. After graduating, we moved on to Boston University, where I earned a medical degree and she obtained her Masters in Education. I completed my postgraduate medical training at Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital before joining a physician practice based at Anna Jaques Hospital. My wife and I settled back in Milton in 2005, and we now have three daughters who will be making their way through the Milton public schools – Katherine (5), Elizabeth (2.5) and Jane (4 months).
I want my children, and all of the children of Milton, to have the many opportunities in life that a top-notch educational foundation affords them. I am grateful to live in Milton and I enjoy taking an active role in shaping the future of our town. I have served as a Town Meeting member since 2007 and as a member of the Board of Registrars since 2012. With two seats open on the School Committee this election cycle, I find that I cannot resist the opportunity to become more directly involved in our schools.
While Milton’s schools are excellent, providing an extremely high quality education for all students is not a simple matter, but rather a complicated balancing act. We must balance the cost of maintaining a top-quality staff of teachers and of supporting the implementation of research-based methods and programs for improving the learning experience of all of our children with the budgetary concerns that come with the town’s current tax base and financial status. Further, at the elementary level, we must remain dedicated to maintaining and enhancing not one but two excellent programs, French Immersion and STEM.
Three of my foremost goals for the Milton Public Schools center around STEM, closing achievement gaps and intermediate to long-term financial planning. Specifically, I envision a cohesive STEM program that extends from elementary school through the high school level, with the ultimate goal of partnering with colleges and universities in the state to provide advanced standing to the graduates of this program. Focused support is critical to closing achievement gaps and the Advancement Budget is an excellent example of this form of targeted resource placement. While this specific budget program is finite in length, the concept of assessment and subsequent tailored support should continue to be an ongoing process to ensure not only that achievement gaps are closed but that students can excel to their greatest potential. Realistic intermediate and long-range budgeting, specifically a comprehensive projected 5- and 10-year budget plan, is necessary not only for this form of planned resource placement but also for support of the overall budgetary needs of the system.
As a graduate of the Milton Public Schools, I feel a strong sense of devotion to the system that helped me ultimately reach my educational and career goals, and I feel it is my duty and honor to contribute to the continued growth and development of the schools that will shape my own children’s lives. It is because of this devotion and belief that I commute 100 miles a day rather than move to a community closer to my job. I am a dedicated, hardworking consensus-builder who appreciates the intricacies of team problem solving and the needs and demands of a modern first-rate public school system. Over the next several weeks, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and convincing you to support my candidacy.