Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to endorse Paul Fitzgerald as a candidate for the School Committee, and to encourage everyone to elect Mr. Fitzgerald to another one-year term to continue the excellent work he has been doing on the committee. As a parent (and taxpayer) who will have two children in the Groton-Dunstable school system next year (one already in second grade), I truly believe that Paul Fitzgerald’s two campaign themes of academic excellence and fiscal discipline are more important than ever.

As a parent, I understand the necessity of setting high standards for children and expecting them to meet those standards. One of the most important ways to improve the education of our children is simply to hold them to higher academic standards: it takes work to get an “A,” not simply showing up. This is a matter of leadership, not money, and Paul Fitzgerald has initiated a process with the Superintendent to provide that leadership to his staff and ultimately down to the teachers and the classroom. This is not an overnight process, but if we expect more from our children they will respond accordingly.

Another area of Paul’s academic excellence platform is instituting advanced programs for gifted students. In the upcoming discussions on the school improvement plans, he will push for each school to put plans in place to add such programs, from advanced placement courses in high school down to elementary school programs. We need to foster an environment where our children are encouraged to learn and to excel, and where those who do are rewarded with more challenging and exciting courses. Paul Fitzgerald has made this a top priority.

As a taxpayer, I appreciate Paul’s commitment to the fiscal discipline needed to provide such an environment in a way our towns can afford. As a member of the budget-and-finance subcommittee, Paul pushed for public meetings on the budget, including line-item budget reviews, involving members of the school committee, administrators, finance committee and selectmen. It is critical to be able to build on this momentum, and having Paul Fitzgerald continue as a member of the committee is the best way to accomplish this.

Like me, and many of you, Paul Fitzgerald is a parent of children in our school system and a taxpayer. He has proven his dedication to our children’s education by his efforts on the school committee and we owe it to our children to see him continue in this important position.