Terry Ryan brings experience to his run for a seat on the school committee

Anushka Patil, Co-Editor-in-Chief

For students and parents, as well as the community as a whole, the school committee serves to better the future. By working for the education of the schools, the Westford School Committee plays one of the biggest roles in town. Running this year for re-election is resident Terry Ryan, passionate about making sure our district maintains its glory during these challenging times.

Ryan has lived in Westford for the past seventeen years. He has a home with his wife, where he has raised all three of his children, one graduating this year. He was a member of the school committee from 2012-2018. 

“Looking back, the six years went very fast and I served with some very smart and dedicated people. Westford is a town that takes education very seriously and most people that move here do so for the school system and you hear this passion when they speak to you with concern in private or during a public forum. I have always tried to listen and help, knowing that if one person is having an issue, there probably are others. I feel that this approach was successful and that I made a difference during my previous term,” Ryan said.

Terry Ryan excited to run for re-election. (provided by Terry Ryan)

Ryan regards himself as an avid participant in bettering the town. Currently, he represents the Town of Westford as a member of the Lowell Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board, which provides bus service for people in Westford as well as two vans for the Council on Aging. Ryan is ardently focused on bettering and giving back to the town that has provided so much for him and his family.

Standing by the values of honesty, integrity, and community, He wants to help his town flourish, further proving why he wants to join the school committee once again. He found it an enriching experience that taught him well.

“I will be able to hit the ground running, there will not be the initial period of learning that all new members experience and that will be important during this time. We have three months to get everyone and everything ready for a September opening,” Ryan said.

Ryan believes he can properly tackle the current issues that the school committee is facing. Knowing the flow and foundation of Westford Public Schools and the school committee, from his children and past experience, he is confident he can help foster growth in the town, especially in its school system.

“I think overall my approach will be the same: listen, work together, and make decisions that are in the best interest of the children. I don’t believe in micromanaging the administration. We have very professional administrators, dedicated staff, and caring teachers. Everyone has a job to do and the school committee is just a piece of a big puzzle. In a nutshell, the role of the school committee is to make policy, approve the budget and to hire/fire the Superintendent,” Ryan said.

Some of Ryan’s goals include the education of the town’s children, the budget, and the leadership of the schools. With COVID-19 and the budget in mind, He understands the complexities that will follow if he secures a seat on the school committee. He is ready to face the challenge and looks forward to making positive changes.

“As a community, we must focus on offering education in new and innovative ways. Everyone has been thrust into online meetings, Zoom, and working from home. How we, as a district, respond and adapt is crucial to providing a high-level education,” Ryan said.

Ryan also recognizes the possible change in leadership for the upcoming year. He is ready to handle to situation with the best interests of the students and staff in mind.

“I have known Bill for a long time, and he has served this community admirably. He has built a school system by hiring good people, implementing innovative programs, and always being focused on the children of Westford. The upcoming year will lay the groundwork for a change in leadership that will affect the district for years to come,” Ryan said.

“I also understand that the upcoming year will lay the groundwork for a change in leadership that will affect the district for years to come.” 

Focusing on the budget, Ryan is aware of the effect COVID-19 had on the already fragile budget. If elected, He will push for school committees to be held throughout the summer to ensure that students have an easy shift back to reality, or at least keep students motivated to work in our “new normal” age. Additionally, Ryan will work with the Town, State, and Federal government for any additional funding.

“I hope to work with the other school committee members, the Superintendent, and town officials to look at the needs of the schools and how we can satisfy those needs,” Ryan said.