School Committee candidate Melissa Pacheco of 18 Dias Avenue cited her “higher education, business and financial experience as assets in stabilizing a tight school district budget.” In a candidacy announcement release this week, she said she “will provide leadership in resolving once and for all the PCB-troubled Middle School that has taken too much time and money and continues to be a distraction in providing quality education to Westport students.”
She said she regularly attends School Committee meetings and has identified areas in which her experience and education could add value, including:
• School budget: Providing quality education with limited funding
• School buildings and location: Ensuring our buildings are healthy and secure
• School Committee effectiveness: Working together to achieve set goals and objectives to maintain committee effectiveness and success
• Public relations: Ensuring our students’ successes shine brightly to encourage and promote our great schools.
Ms. Pacheco has lived in Westport for 34 years and graduated from Westport High in 1992. Her husband of 15 years, Joseph, is also a 1989 Westport High graduate. They have a daughter, Julia, who attends Westport elementary and also a daughter, Katelyn, who passed away in 2002 at the age of 12 days old.
She is a volunteer for multiple organizations including the Westport schools, Third Baptist Church, American Heart Association, Boston Children’s Hospital and a Board member of Mended Little Hearts. She earned her bachelors of science in accounting and masters in business administration from UMass Dartmouth and has worked in higher education for over 16 years in roes including research administration, grant accounting, and professional and continuing education, in their corporate programs division.
“I have been an advocate for children and families in multiple settings from heart disease to bereaved families. My professional experiences have included motivational speaking, career coaching, organization of conferences, writing grant proposals and monitoring millions of dollars in research funding.”
“I have experience and knowledge in financial statements and budgets; I am an open minded individual who cares about our schools, our children, and our community. I believe in a high quality education that focus’ on reading, math and science. I believe that budgets need to be fiscally sound, that we need to work within certain budget constraints that we must strive to meet specific attainable goals and objectives, that funding requests need to be reasonable, documented, and necessary to attain specific set mutually agreed upon goals and objectives,.
“Today’s job market will require a higher education in either a college or university, or a technical school setting, all of which will require our students to be well prepared prior to admission.
“In addition, we must meet the requirement of quality education in the most fiscally sound manner possible. We must consider all cost saving options, and revenue options, we must seek all available resources to become the most efficient, and streamline costs whenever possible, keeping an open mind, utilizing best practices, and always keeping all of our children’s best interest at the forefront.
“I believe my budget skill set will be an added asset to our team on the School Committee. In addition I am familiar with the grant and funding opportunities available to schools, as well as researching potential funding opportunities. I have an understanding of contracts, including interpreting and adhering to contractual language and requests for proposals. All of which will assist as we begin to lay out the options for our school buildings, ensuring that all of our students health, security, special education, and education needs are met.”
Her experience in “preparing grant proposals, marketing, and organizing conferences and other events, will prove to be helpful in the areas of organizing school committee committee goals and objectives, and in the publicizing of our schools’ great accomplishments and successes … It’s imperative that the school committee hears parents’ needs and concerns on a more regular basis.”
Ms. Pacheco can be reached at 508.971.0773, or email: [email protected], Facebook page: Melissa Pacheco School Committee.”