Former Chair of the Board of Selectmen
I enthusiastically endorse Jessie Steigerwald for her third term on the Lexington School Committee. I had the privilege of working with Jessie in a variety of capacities over the last years. I first met her when we were both active with the League of Women Voters of Lexington. Jessie represented the League on education issues. Her commitment to quality public education, and to all the children of Lexington, was apparent from the outset. I had the pleasure of watching Jessie run for her first term on the School Committee, and was impressed with her knowledge, her accessibility, and her positive approach to the issues.
When I was elected to the Board of Selectmen, I worked with Jessie on many issues. We worked most closely on the School Transportation Safety Committee, but I also saw her work on many other committees and ad hoc groups as well. She has a firm grasp of all capital related issues due to her extensive work on the construction projects for the Estabrook, Bridge and Bowman schools. Her approach is not limited to just bricks and mortar, but also to the total infrastructure needs of our schools including traffic management, playing fields, and the Big Back Yard programs.
I am most impressed with Jessie’s ability to work with and listen to all the constituencies involved with the Lexington public schools. She works well with parents, staff, teachers and students. She has invested much time and effort in strengthening Site Councils as well as working with the various PTAs/PTOs. She is able to tolerate differences in opinion, and will listen to and consider various points of view. While she is a passionate advocate for quality public education, she is also able to consider the municipal needs of the community as well, and can understand how strong municipal services benefit our children.
Given the amount of time Jessie commits to her work on behalf of our schools, it was notably impressive that she gave so much of her time and energy to the 300th celebration of Lexington. Her joy and enthusiasm, as well as her tremendous creative talent, was on display with all of the activities she created or coordinated. She and her colleagues on the 300th committee were able to enlist the work of so many members of the community, many of whom volunteered for the first time on a Lexington activity.
I also note Jessie’s success in bringing back the Mock Town Meeting for our middle school students. I cannot tell who enjoyed Mock Town Meeting more: the student or adult participants.
Finally, whenever I needed to understand any issue involving education in Lexington, I could turn to Jessie for guidance and information. She is a joy to work with in so many ways. She will continue to represent all of Lexington well in the coming years. I trust her to find the most effective and efficient way to address the demands for additional classroom space; to ensure the success of the new Superintendent; and to continue to improve education for the children of Lexington.