LETTER: Wilmington School Committee Candidate Michael Mercaldi Asks For Your Vote On April 22

Dear Editor,

My name is Michael Mercaldi, and I am running for Wilmington school committee this year. I would like to introduce myself to the community. I am currently running unopposed so I will most likely be joining the school committee after the election. I am very much looking forward to joining the school committee and helping the school district continue to deliver great results for the students. I decided to run for school committee when I found out there was a vacancy. I felt that such an important position had to be filled. There is so much important work that needs to be performed at the school committee that I felt obligated to volunteer.

To start, I would like to give you a little background about myself. I am a biochemical engineer by training and have a BS from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. from Tufts University. I grew up in the northern suburbs of New York City and have also lived in the greater Washington DC area. Currently, I am the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Program Management at Oxford Biomedica Solutions, a contract gene therapy manufacturer.

I moved to Wilmington in 2013 and have two daughters in the school district. One is a second grader at the Woburn Street School and another is a fifth grader at the North Intermediate School. We have had very positive experiences so far with the Wilmington School District. Both of my daughters have loved their teachers, CARES, and all the services the District provides. I hope with my presence on the school committee I can help the District continue to provide such a high level of service.

I have also been volunteering as a planning member of the Parent and Guardian Advocates for Wilmington Schools (PAWS) group for the past few years. In this role, I have developed an in-depth understanding of the school district and how it works within the town. Two notable accomplishments I helped to contribute to with this group were to mobilize voters to approve the New Wildwood/MSBA grant and to reject the Finance Committee’s proposed $500,000 budget cut in 2022.

The issues I am most focused on are the new Wildwood Building/MSBA project, improving the educational and extracurricular offerings in the Middle and High School, and improving District communication with Parents/Guardians.

The new Wildwood building, more formally known as the MSBA project, presents a generational opportunity for the District to improve the early education and elementary school environment, by giving our youngest students a modern place to learn. Additionally, it may be able to unify the town by having all elementary students attend one school and reduce the number of school transitions that are currently in place. Opportunities like this do not come very often, so I am very excited to work on this project and to elicit community feedback to ensure it can work best for our students, parents and guardians.

The administration has made great progress over the past year to improve the Middle and High School curriculum. The most notable advances I have seen are better inclusion of social and emotional learning across both schools and updating the High School class offerings to better prepare our students for college or entering the workforce. I would like to explore options and opportunities to further bolster our education to focus more on the two of the largest industries in the greater Boston area, Tech and Biotech. I have deep experience in Biotech and I feel that our schools, while offering some Biotech classes, should offer more. We live in the largest Biotech cluster in the world where there are thousands of biotech companies, and they offer good, high paying jobs to people at all levels of education. I feel that we can do more to showcase Biotech, along with Tech, within our curriculum to raise student awareness for their future careers.

Regarding the Middle School, I would also like to see how we can support the current after-school clubs and start up new extracurricular activities.  For the current clubs, I would like to see how we can better support student transportation. An issue I have heard from Parents/Guardians is that their students would love to go to the after-school clubs, but finding time to pick up their students is challenging due to their workday commitments. I would like to explore options to make this easier on working Parents/Guardians which could open more access to these great programs.

Finally, I would like to explore opportunities to streamline and improve communication from the District to Parents/Guardians. The District has made great strides in becoming more transparent and open with its communication. Speaking with fellow Parents/Guardians, I have heard that this is a good step forward. Where they would like to see more improvement is around improving the types of communication and coordination. By this, can parents have better access to the information they need about their student’s respective school? How can this be better coordinated to make it more efficient and effective? I feel strongly about working on trying to improve this because this is a critical interface where the District and Parent/Guardians interact. With improved communication, the hope is to increase alignment within the Town and give Parent/Guardians the confidence to help their students navigate their educational journey.

Thank you for taking time to read this note.  Finally, I would also like to please ask for your support with your vote in the upcoming town election on April 22.


Michael Mercaldi

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