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Candidate Questions: School Committee Candidate Carl Foss

Burlington voters on April 1 will take to the polls to vote for candidates for Moderator, Select Board, Assessor, School Committee and other positions. Among the town’s contested races are two open seats on the School Committee, for which three candidates are in the running.

BNEWS asked the three candidates for School Committee the same set of questions to give voters a look into why they are running and what they would hope to achieve if elected.

Here we have responses from candidate Carl Foss, who has been sitting on the committee since 2020. These responses are unedited.

Foss is running against sitting Jeremy Brooks, who would be new to the committee, and sitting School Committee Member Katherine Bond. Find Brooks’s answers here and Bond’s here.

1: Why are you seeking to be elected or re-elected to this position?

I am seeking to be reelected to the School Committee in order to bring my balanced viewpoint to the committee. I would like to continue to help oversee the Burlington Public Schools. There are so many wonderful aspects to the district that should be continued. There are also challenges that need addressing. I can work with a diverse school committee to help steer Burlington Public Schools in the right direction.

2: What experience do you have that makes you a good candidate?

My experience as a father of two children currently enrolled at Pine Glen, my 13 years as an educator and my experience during my first term on the committee combine to give me a unique perspective. My first two years on the committee were anything but routine, but this past year has been more typical. It is almost like two different terms but the combination has given me an outlook to continue the upward trajectory of BPS as well as face the ongoing challenges to the district.

3: What character traits/strengths do you possess that makes you a good candidate?

The first strength that comes to mind would be my dedication. In addition to regular committee meetings, I am the School Committee rep for the Recreation Commission, the rep for the town DEI committee while it was active and, along with the other committee members, a voting member of the Fox Hill School Building Committee. I have not missed a single meeting, which is a testament to my dedication to my role. Additionally, I am a collaborative person.  I try to look at issues from all sides and consider the viewpoints of all stakeholders. Then, as a committee, we can make decisions. Finally, I am a strong advocate for the voices and perspectives of those whose voices are not typically heard.

4: What issues do you think are the most pressing facing the board/committee you are running for and what do you think should be done to address them?

There are too many students still readjusting to school after the interruptions of 2020 and 2021. There are supports in place, but identifying students whose needs are not being fully met and providing more attention to their academic or social/emotional needs is crucial.
I would like to see continued improvement in the communication between schools and families. Progress has been made in this area, but there are places to make upgrades. The district website is a prime candidate for improvement.

The high school is in dire need of renovations in several areas and we have been turned away for state funding from MSBA for over a decade. Careful planning and budgeting will be crucial to a local solution to the high school’s needs.

5: Anything else you’d like to add?
I have a passionate belief in the power of public education to effect positive change in our lives. I hope to continue to use the responsibility of the School Committee to help guide Burlington further along our shared journey.