HARVARD – Now’s not the time, decided Sharon Cronin on Sunday night. Beset with newspaper questionnaires of the candidates for the Harvard School Committee, Cronin said she decided that she would not seek office.
In her letter to the editor, Cronin thanked her campaign supporters but also announced that she will not accept one of two available seats on the committee if she is inadvertently still elected during the May 1 Town Election.
School Committee member Piali De is not seeking re-election. School Committee Patty Wenger is a candidate for re-election. With Cronin’s withdrawal, it would appear certain that candidate Bob Sullebarger would be a shoe-in with Wenger for the two available seats.
Cronin said on Tuesday that she was still focused on the recovery for her husband, Chuck Cronin, who sustained injury six weeks ago in an accident which resulted in lost vision in one eye. “We’re still in the midst of that,” said Cronin. She said her campaign launched slowly as a result.
“I kept wondering ‘Is this the right time or not the right time?” said Cronin. With two other candidates ready, willing and able to serve, Cronin said she felt better about withdrawing from the race because she would “not going to be leaving anyone high and dry. I just had to decide before it went any further.”
“I’ve received a zillion phone calls of disappointment today,” said Cronin. “There will be another time that’s better for me and my family.”
Cronin was campaigning with her husband at the Transfer Station on Saturday. “I had a lot of fun.”
The couple has a seventh grade son, Tristan, and a ninth grade daughter, Alexandra, both of whom are students at the Bromfield School.
Cronin said she’ll remain involved in the background on school issues. “I still want to be a part of this conversation.”
Cronin says she foresees a run for the committee in the future.
The text of Cronin’s letter to the editor announcing her decision follows:
For personal reasons, I am withdrawing my candidacy for School Committee. It is not an easy decision.
I want to thank everyone who has offered their time, attention and energy to support me. It has been an honor and a privilege sharing thoughts and concerns with both friends and people I’ve newly met.
Knowing there are two other qualified and committed candidates to fill the positions allows me the latitude to make this decision. I wish them well.
My reasons for accepting the nomination in the first place however have not changed. I still intend to be part of the ongoing conversation regarding how we provide a strong education to our children in a rapidly changing world amidst economic uncertainty.
I encourage everyone to get involved and stay involved, to be creative and open to new ideas. Traditional education needs an infusion of modernity to survive. It’s okay to challenge old assumptions, to learn what 21st century skills truly are and to become educated about what our children will need to compete and find success in the future.
Part of this process will be choosing a strong, dynamic leader in a new, permanent superintendent, one who shares our collective vision – a vision that comes from our entire, informed community. To offer such an education takes time and money, but educating children truly is an investment in our future.
As a result, I urge everyone to consider how we, as a community, spend money, weighing carefully the cost of what we may be giving up when we commit funds to one project over another. I urge you to keep our children’s education a priority.
Follow Mary Arata at Twitter.com/maryearata.