I want to introduce myself to the readers of Village 14. I am Bridget Ray-Canada. I am running for School Committee, At Large, Ward 1 because I want NPS students to reach their potential in a school system that inspires and supports students of all abilities, backgrounds and economic status.

The School Committee supports the efforts of continuous improvement in educational learning for all students. Part of the committee’s role is to:
• Enhance communication and engagement with key stakeholders
• Review and approve NPS budgets
• Establish educational goals and policies for educational excellence

I will bring a different perspective as an Industrial Engineer where continuous improvement is a daily practice to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and excellence. Currently I am in a global role that has allowed me to sharpen my communication skills and to engage with people of different cultures and backgrounds. I work with teams in China, Asia South, Japan, South America, EMEA, and North America on a daily basis. I am responsible for the budget and forecast for a multi-million dollar chemical manufacturer’s business segment where I have to make trade-offs due to limited production capacity, pricing strategies, business strategies, and operational budget constraints. My job is to make the best decisions keeping with the values, the strategy, objectives and budget of the company.

As with the School Committee, each person has a different background and views, however, my experience has allowed me to work collaboratively while embracing differences. NPS faces a challenge to balance the budget and continue to improve student achievement and provide support for all students. My experience with budgeting and forecasting a business segment with market, environmental and operational challenges while continuing to grow the business will be an asset to the School Committee.

I have lived in Newton for 4 years after relocating with my husband and son from Alpharetta, GA. We selected Newton, because of the school system reputation, from my company’s temporary housing options. We are definitely happy we chose Newton. Our son attends NPS and as a parent, I am very pleased with the quality education and the teachers’ support of my son. It has not been all rosy as we have experienced situations where the administration failed to recognize a teaching moment about racial bias. I am definitely happy to hear about the training, “courageous conversations” to equip the Newton educators with the skills to teach and embrace a diverse student body.

I am committed to:
• A school system that inspires students to love learning and leadership.
• A school community that understands and embraces diversity, while providing a quality education to all students.
• An excellent school system that encourages students to be self-sufficient, productive, compassionate, and responsible adults.

I would like to leave you with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

I ask for your vote on November 7. Please visit my website at bridgetraycanada.com