SHIRLEY — David Baumritter, a chemistry teacher at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, has announced his candidacy for a three-year term on the School Committee.
Committee Chairman Robert Schuler recently announced he won’t run for re-election in the May 13 Annual Town Election. Baumritter will instead run against resident Daniel Meehan.
As an educator, Baumritter said he pays attention to educational needs. Now that he has a two-year-old son, he said he’s also taking a personal interest in this district.
“The School Committee has been moving in a positive direction,” he said. “I want to continue that trend.”
The town and schools are facing economic difficulties, he said, as are many people in their households.
“I don’t think it’s any surprise,” said Baumritter.
The district has been challenged to provide quality education under budget constraints, he said.
“I think the experience I have to bring is my perspective of what works practically in the classroom, and how budget decisions can affect teaching,” said Baumritter.
He said his experience offers a unique viewpoint.
“At the end of the day, what’s really important is the interaction between teachers and students,” he said.
But Baumritter does have an understanding of the financial constraints beyond the classroom. He said his attitude is that the town and the committee have to work together to solve problems.
There has been progress, he said, but there are still issues to be addressed.
“The town and schools are really one and the same,” he said. “When one is having financial issues, the other one is. We need to work together as a group, as a single entity, to solve the financial issues we’re facing.”
Two of the items Baumritter thinks will help alleviate pressure are to offer administrative stability within the district, and “look at regionalization with a very keen eye.”
There has been some administrative turnover in the last few years within the district, he said, including two principals, a business manager and a superintendent. This sort of turnover makes it difficult to implement and execute programs efficiently, he said.
Representatives from Ayer, Shirley and Lunenburg have also been studying the feasibility of forming a regional school district. The option should be weighed carefully to determine what long-term challenges lie ahead, said Baumritter.
Originally from Long Island, Baumritter moved to Massachusetts 10 years ago to attend Tufts University. He moved to Shirley in 2001. Besides being a schoolteacher, he coaches the Acton-Boxborough varsity soccer team.
“As I’ve gotten into this process I’ve become more and more excited to work with (committee members) and the town,” said Baumritter. “I hope that it will happen.”