Grafton Candidate Statement – School Committee – Craig Juelis

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Grafton Candidate Statement – School Committee – Craig Juelis
Craig Juelis

Why are you running?

I am running for School Committee to bring my 22 years of experience as a public school teacher and administrator to the committee to ensure that our students receive the education they deserve. If we truly want to develop lifelong learners and responsible citizens, per the district’s mission statement, then we must ensure that all students have the necessary skills to be successful in an ever changing world.

What are the three biggest issues facing the School Committee in order of importance?

Ensuring the our school budget provides the instructional resources, staffing, and the facilities that our school community deserves.

To ensure that ALL students are met where they are as learners with appropriate levels of support, challenge, and skill development in order to prepare our students for an ever changing world.

Permanently closing the learning gaps that still persist two years after the school closure.

The superintendent for GPS has called the FY25 budget “demanding,” relying on revolving funds to help fund operational costs. Would you support an override in 2025?

Like many other districts, Grafton is facing the potential of significant budget issues over the next couple of years. With the loss of COVID funds, decreasing state aid, and rising cost, it is important that as a committee we focus ensuring that our school budgets responsibly provide the instructional resources, staffing, and the facilities that our school community deserves. This issue was not caused by one singular decision, and it will not be solved with one singular decision either. Additional revenue streams must be explored, and we have been backed into a corner, where reductions should also be explored. These gaps should be closed through a thoughtful process including a discussion with all stakeholders, and should not depend on simply raising taxes or operational overrides.

What is your opinion on the use of AI in the classroom?

If we are to develop independent thinkers who are capable of developing and defending their own perspectives, then schools must provide all of their students with the necessary skills to research and defend their thinking verbally and in writing. As with many aspects of technology, it may help to improve efficiency, but it may not assist our students in being better problem solvers, or truly understand the issues they are being asked to support or defend.

What is your relevant experience to serve on School Committee?

During my time in the classroom and the main office, I worked on various initiatives and committees including: revising curriculum across various subjects and grade levels; developing and implementing new programs; analyzing student learning through various assessment methods; developing district-wide emergency response procedures; and working with various school stakeholders to ensure that student needs were being met in their growth as learners. Part of this work also included ensuring that policy expectations were being met with consistency and fairness. I hope to bring all of these different professional experiences to our school committee to support our staff, and in turn, support the development of our students. I am focused on ensuring that ALL of our students are supported academically and in their social emotional development. Students should be learning these very crucial skills in working with each other, and understanding how to interact with different perspectives.

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