Nashoba’s School Board

How My School Day Took an Even Less Interesting Turn


Sam Mitchell, Correspondent

On Tuesday, May 20th I sat in at a  Nashoba District School Board meeting. It is held each Tuesday at the Emerson Building. I got there about 30 minutes early, and took the time to wander the Florence Sawyer School and reminisce about the nine years I spent there. Everything seems a bit smaller than it used to, from the chairs, desks, and lockers to the narrow, bulletin board covered hallways that snake their way through the school. This feeling continued when I arrived at the school board meeting. Although some would consider it a challenge, the school board managed to trivialize the large number of important matters brought before it with endless discussion, circular conversation, and no end conclusion or action. For those who are considering attending a meeting, I have a one word recommendation: don’t.

That’s not to say the school board does not have redeeming qualities. It is an almost all volunteer committee made up of people dedicated to the school district who take time out of their work day to try and make a difference. I commend these people, because I’m certain they don’t enjoy the meetings either.

The school board discussed a number of topics including evaluating the Honor Roll, the amount of homework students receive, and the upcoming problem of overcrowding at Nashoba. These are all topics that are important to many Nashoba students, and fortunately for them, a seat on this board is reserved for a “student representative”. Unfortunately, the student representative arrived late and left after about 15 minutes, staying only to tell the board about the Tennis team and Chris Herren’s assembly. Through some fault in the system, Nashoba students are being robbed of what little power they have over the decision making of the upper level administration.

The school board has ten non-student members. Nine were in attendance. They include Superintendent Michael L. Wood, Assistant Superintendent George P. King Jr., Chair Nancy Federspiel, and Vice-Chair Maureen Busch. They also inducted a new member, Ms. Nicole Odekirk to the board, as she was recently elected to the position in the last election. Three volunteers are from Stow, three from Lancaster, and two from Bolton.

There is one glimmer of hope for the Nashoba students, however. This is a man from Stow named Marc. He was the only citizen there to contribute to the discuss during the allocated “Citizen Comments”. He does not have children in the High School, but was at the meeting on our behalf regardless of that fact. He asked that the Superintendent make a comprehensive written plan for how the administration plans to deal with the overcrowding problem and what kind of positive return (ROI) the district could expect to see on that investment into expanding the school.

What Nashoba students need is an effective group of people who can truly tackle the important issues in a time sensitive way. Also, it is vital that our student representative be an active participant in discussions and decisions so that Nashoba students can have fair representative input into the issues that shape their lives.