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Daughter Sarah with her high school buddies when they created the first women’s hockey team at NSHS. Sarah chose to be goalie because she couldn’t skate very well!

Me with my wife, Farzana Mohamed.

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Her Bowen School kindergarten teacher Kemp Harris (from 1984) paid a surprise visit to my daughter, Rebecca, during her dance performance in Cambridge in 2016.

A Newton Public Schools Family

Dear Newton Voters,

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I’m excited to be running for the

Ward 6 position on the Newton School

Committee in the November 2021

election. School Committee elections

are at-large, and all Newton voters

can vote in my race.

For many years our school system

has enjoyed a well-deserved

reputation as one of the very best

in Massachusetts.

 

Now more than ever, we need exceptional management and oversight from our School Committee. This school year faces unique roadblocks, as the school system attempts to return to "normal" while addressing educational and social-emotional challenges that arose during the pandemic. A significant number of families have left our school system, and many families and staff are concerned with the current situation.

We thus need a school committee with the expertise to address the gamut of health-related educational issues while promoting a more effective and responsive school system. Both students and teachers need support through this period and beyond. We also need seasoned administrators on our School Committee, since our city and schools face serious financial pressures that could limit our flexibility to make the needed changes and investments in our schools.

I'm running for School Committee at this difficult juncture because I believe I can make a real difference. My entire professional career has been spent leading complex organizations facing significant challenges, including as CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Executive Director of the MWRA during the Boston Harbor cleanup, Chairman of Governor Dukakis’s Department of Public Utilities, and Director of Governor Bill Clinton’s Department of Energy in Arkansas. I have also served on both private and public sector boards and have worked with other directors and leaders of organizations to identify and implement needed changes. I have a record of working collaboratively and respectfully with governing bodies (including boards and commissions), staff, and constituents to accomplish meaningful progress.

I have a deep personal interest in helping make our schools more effective, responsive, and collaborative. My two daughters attended the Newton public schools. I was tremendously impressed with the caliber and energy of their teachers and the impact they continue to have on my daughters. Indeed, several of the relationships fostered at that time – both with families and with teachers – have blossomed into lifetime friendships. And now my wife Farzana and I have been excited to see our little child Naim in kindergarten at Bowen School this year.

I’ve been lucky to raise my family in the same house on Oxford Road since 1981. There are so many reasons that Newton remains such a special place to live and raise a family, and the Newton Public Schools are a key part of what binds our community together. While our schools face many challenges, my experience helps give me the perspective to work closely with my School Committee colleagues and the School Department to make the necessary changes and increase the quality of our schools and the level of confidence in the community. I look forward to speaking with you and ask for your vote on November 2, 2021.

Sincerely,

Paul

Our son Naim is looking forward to Kindergarten at Bowen School in September, 2021.