PLYMOUTH — By Rich Harbert Wicked Local Plymouth May 08, 2013 @ 09:30 AM
Debra Betz wanted to get involved while her two sons were in school.
She was active in their elementary school when the boys were younger and won two terms on the School Committee as they grew up.
Her youngest, now a freshman, has three more years in the local schools. Betz would like three more years, too.
The only incumbent in this year’s election for School Committee, Betz said the math and the timing seem perfect for one last run. She’d also like to finish some projects she’s been working on for the last six years.
Betz, 48, lives in North Plymouth with her husband, Stephen, and their sons, Stewart, 17, and Spencer, 15. She works in customer service for Southwest Airlines.
A California native, Betz spent time living in South Africa before moving to Plymouth.
The moderator and list owner of Plymouth Freecycle, an online recycling service, she has served on the town’s recycling committee and the Cultural Council.
Betz won her first term on the school board in 2007. In 2010, she ran unopposed for re-election.
She faced a more difficult challenge just last year, when she launched a campaign as the Republican candidate for state representative from the 12th Plymouth District. Incumbent Tom Calter, a Kingston Democrat, handily defeated Betz for the seat.
Betz shrugged off the loss, saying union support and heftier financial backing for her opponent were deciding factors in the race. She was one of the first to announce plans to run in this year’s school board race, noting she had work to finish.
Betz said her primary focus on the board has been school safety. And, while the district has done much to make school a safer place, Betz said she would like be more vocal and proactive about the progress and let people know the good work that the safety committee has completed.
Betz has not been afraid to stand alone on the board.
Last year, she was the only person to oppose new fee schedule for renting local schools because she felt local Girl Scouts and Boys Scouts should continue to be allowed to use the schools for meeting at no charge.
Similarly, she was a vocal critic of newly mandated nutrition standards that banned cakes and cupcakes in classrooms for birthday celebrations.
Betz, who was chairman of the board when the work started on Plymouth North High School, said she would like to see improvements completed at Plymouth South High School and would like to open the discussion on all-day kindergarten in Plymouth especially, she said, with the common core standards Massachusetts adopted in 2010. “They are starting to stream algebra down to kindergarten and first grade. They’re starting at such a young age. We really need to look at all-day options as many other communities are doing,” she said.
April 30, 2013 My A~Z Blog is Complete !
School Safety A~Z
A is for Action Plan
B is for Bully
C is for Committee
D is for Decisions
E is for Entrances and Exits
F is for Familiarization
G is for Guns
H is for Help
I is for Identification
J is for Juxtaposition
K is for Knowledge
L is for Lock Down Drills
M is for Measurements
N is for News
O is for Options
P is for Partnership with Police
Q is for Quick Response
R is for Rachels Challenge
S is for Stay in Place
T is for Training
U is for Utilize Resources
V is for Violence
W is for Warning Signs
X is for Xenos
Y is for YOU
Z is for Zero Tolerance
There you have it ! To read about each entry, visit my blog:
click on the archive for the month of April.
March 8, 2013
While home today with the kids in hopefully our LAST snow day, I am eagerly anticipating the upcoming May election for 2 seats on the Plymouth School Committee. I
have kids in school and have a vested interest in the success of our district. I was elected to the Plymouth School Committee in 2007, and it has been my pleasure to serve the residents of
Plymouth for the past 6 years in this capacity.
My first priority has always been school safety. I ran because there was not an anti-bullying policy in our district. Plymouth was among the forerunners in implementing policy before the Massachusetts State Legislature took action. I have been on the School Safety Committee since it was formed. In 2010 I was the Chairman of the School Committee. I led efforts in the building of the newly opened Plymouth North High School. More recently I have been an advocate for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to use school buildings for a minimal charge.
I still have more work to do. That is why I am running for reelection. I want to see Plymouth have FULL DAY Kindergarden. I spoke up on Tuesday March 5th at historic joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Planning Board, and Building Committee and advocated for the feasibility study of moving Town Hall offices to the 1820 Court House to include considering using Town Hall for an "Early Education Center" which could provide needed space for 16 classrooms for FULL DAY Kindergarden.
In the next coming days I will be announcing dates for the public to meet with me and to discuss the educational issues that are facing Plymouth.
Please join in supporting me because Experience Counts!