Joseph Gray is a candidate for Ward 6 School Committee.

These are his answers to a questionnaire that Malden Votes sent to every candidate. They have not been edited or abridged, only formatted for readability. With the exception of the last question (see note below), the PDF version of this form is here.

What motivates you to run for school committee?

defending the children and their environment to learn.

What experiences or skills have prepared you to serve on the school committee?

Learning to defend our country. Learning to build a career. Learning to defend a family & finally learning to defend and enhance our schools.

In the past two years, what School Committee actions did you support or oppose, and why?

I support the decisions of the school committee due to the fact that hard choices have been made under difficult circumstances of budget squeezes. It’s the bureaucracy above, below & around the school committee where I have the majority of issues.

What are the greatest strengths and challenges of our current school system?

Strength is the quality of teachers. Weakness is the political budget unknowns.

What initiatives would you prioritize in our school system?

None. Can’t answer a non-existent hypothetical. If I win, by the time I am sworn in next year, there is no telling what the “current” issues will be on the docket for the incoming members. As in the military, you must tackle an issue as it arises and make the best decisions possible for the future from that point forward

Malden has a broad diversity of students. How would you address the unique needs of various student populations? Be specific.

Will evaluate the progress of the programs already in place by the superintendent and the mayor and determine at that time if any enhancements are possible.

Do you have any priorities for the school budget? What are they, and why?

Defend programs for the children. If we aren’t taking care of the children, then what is the point of the school? Everything flows outward from the children and we’ll balance as best we can from there.

What role should charter schools have in our public school system?

As an alternative. Just as vocational, home and religious schools provide practical alternatives for each families needs and circumstances.

What is your stance on the PROMISE Act?

None. The school committee can support or deny the promise act, but doing so has no force of law. Federal, State and Municipal Law supersedes the school committee. The city council/mayor has more jurisdiction over this issue.

How can we increase parental and community engagement in school committee meetings?

Guess. If parents & the community are NOT interested in politics at any level, it is not possible to force the issue. The best we can do is try to set an example by our actions and presence. I’ve spoken to many in the community, who outright refuse to get involved. Only a handful of us are the exception.

Everyone grows up holding personal biases. Please share an anecdote about a time that your own biases were confronted, and how you responded.

At each stage of life, I learned that for a lot of issues I just plain didn’t “care”. Like the Grinch I learned to care for my country, when confronted by anti-American hatred, when serving in the military oversees. I eventually learned to care about having a career. I learned to care about my faith. I learned to care for my family, when confronted by harassment & abuse. And so it built by extension that I learned to care for my city and to care for the public schools, when I had to fight tooth and nail over the years for safety and education issues for the children of Malden. Sometimes, I needed to be slapped in the face with the occasional absurdity of what does and doesn’t get done in the legislative circles to trigger me to step up and “do something”. I set the tone and set the example for my children to step out of the sidelines and rise to the level where you can “do something” for the community and those who look up to you.

Sea Also

Click here for more information on Joseph Gray
Click here to see all the responses to the Malden Votes questionnaire