Hudson candidate statements: Mark Terra-Salomão – School Committee

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Mark Terra-Salomão is running for a seat on the School Committee. (Submitted photo)

HUDSON – Hudson is gearing up for its 2021 municipal elections on May 10. As voters get set to head to the polls, the Community Advocate has zeroed in on contested races for prominent bodies like Board of Selectmen and School Committee.

The Community Advocate reached out to candidates who filed paperwork to appear on their town’s ballot and asked them to submit a personal statement as well as answers to three specific questions.

See those biographies and read extended questions and answers from Hudson School Committee Candidate Mark Terra-Salomão here…

And see profiles of other candidates…

PERSONAL BIO

My name is Mark J. Terra-Salomão. I am a longtime Hudson resident and staunch supporter and 2012 valedictorian graduate of Hudson Public Schools. I spent my entire school career in Hudson Public Schools. I am a registered architect in Massachusetts and current appointed member of the Hudson Historical Commission.

You should vote for me because I am running a campaign based on transparency, accessibility, and creativity. If elected my priorities will be Hudson’s students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers. Given my professional experience, I would bring a critical and practical mindset to each issue and work collaboratively with community members.

QUESTIONS

What do you see as the most important issue(s) facing the Hudson Public Schools today? 

I argue lack of transparency, accessibility, and creativity is the most pressing issue at Hudson Public Schools. Of course, Hudson faces multiple specific, interrelated problems: declining enrollment, fewer class offerings, absurd disregard for students of color and students with differing abilities / special needs, serious budgetary issues – there are others. We could easily choose any of these as the largest concern.

However, I believe it’s possible to solve these issues if we strive for transparency, accessibility, and creativity. When we apply these values as a community working together, there are few limits to what we can achieve. This might sound hokey until you remember that Hudson Public Schools exist because of the shared financial, social, and moral support of Hudson residents, parents, and taxpayers. A School Committee working collaboratively with the HPS and Hudson communities could use our town’s resources and talents to transform our schools for the better.

COVID-19 has uniquely impacted school systems and members of the school community. How would you approach the ongoing questions and decisions any school committee member will have to make as the vaccine rollout and school reopening process continues?

Among other problems, the pandemic created a seeming dilemma in the schools between students, parents, and teachers concerned about their health and safety, and those who for various reasons preferred to return physically to school. I’m sure many people fit both categories.

For me, and everyone, the key question is safe return to school for students and teachers. If elected, there are several concrete steps I would work towards. One would be an orderly, equitable, and efficient use of state and federal funds for PPE, technology, counseling and wellness services, and other resources we’ll need to support students and teachers as the pandemic hopefully comes to an end. Another would be implementing a number of “no-questions-asked” mental health days for students. I would also work with the Hudson Board of Health to vaccinate students if and when that becomes possible (currently there is no approved vaccine for people under 16).

Is there anything else you want voters to know about you as a candidate? 

I believe it’s time for much-needed change in Hudson Public Schools and on the School Committee. I hope on May 10th Hudson’s voters decide to elect all new people to the committee, including me, so we can effectively implement change.

In addition to what you’ve already read about me above, I would bring an intimate knowledge of Hudson’s Portuguese community, deep understanding of HPS and Hudson history, and existing rapport with Hudson teachers and staff to the table.

For more information about me and my values and positions, please visit my campaign website at www.marktsforhudson.com. You can reach me directly by email at [email protected], by phone at (978) 289-3326, or on Instagram @marktsforhudson. Please contact me with any questions, concerns, suggestions, or if you just want to chat. Thank you!