Meet Paul Monusky Candidate for Westfield Board of Education | #Education

Name: Paul Monusky

Age: 40

How long have you lived in Westfield? My wife and I have lived in Westfield for 9 years.

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What are your qualifications for office? As a Director and Producer for the past 13 years at NFLFilms, I have created and led award-winning teams and have earned 11 EMMYs. Spending time with and interviewing some of the greatest athletes, coaches, and teams of all time, I have learned what makes a collaborative environment: knowing when to lead and when to listen.

What would your top priorities be if elected to the school board?

The number one priority is to support efforts during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to consider the following questions:

  • What are we doing for our teachers and students? 
  • What metrics are we using to evaluate EVERY WEEK so we can continue to improve?
  • What decisions by our board and school leaders have been effective? What needs improvement? What can we do to make these improvements? 
  • What policies and programs help to ensure every student in this district feels included and safe at school?

How would you work to promote diversity in Westfield public schools’ education? The first way to promote diversity in our schools would be to re-examine our hiring practices. There must be a more concerted effort by the administration and the board to recruit, hire, and retain a more diverse workforce. We know that organizations with diverse staff are more innovative and effective. If we recognize the challenges we are now facing, and will face in the future, we should want Westfield schools to be best prepared to meet those challenges. A coalition of people with different backgrounds and life experiences will position our district to be better and more able to meet the needs of all our students. There is more that can be done, throughout all our schools, to diversify our staff.

What are some of the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the district and how you would handle them? What challenges haven’t been brought upon by COVID-19?  The Principals, Teachers and Support staff have done a remarkable job getting any semblance of a school year off the ground this quarter. They are helping students face new challenges every day.

This pandemic has shown that we are all in this together. With that in mind, communication from the district to the teachers, support staff, parents, students, and community needs to be improved. We need to be aware of the vulnerable students among us and ensure there are ways for them to stay connected and supported by the district and individual schools.  This can only help us improve ourselves so that we do not fall behind other districts and lose more great students and families to private schools.

What else would you like the readers to know? COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our day-to-day existence including our school system. One-third of our school board seats are open for this election and I think we should embrace this as an opportunity to re-evaluate our approach to education.

What was once thought impossible has been made a reality. Because of this new normal, we have seen initiatives that may have been seen as unnecessary change be implemented to meet the needs of all students and families:  A 1:1 Chromebook ratio, block scheduling, staggered start times, flexible and blended learning environments. Each of these has helped support our students to become more independent as the persevere in all our schools. We should use this new challenge as an opportunity to evaluate how and where to put our resources to their best use. The prior game plan of doing things solely based on the convention that ‘it is how we’ve always done it’ should be cast aside. 

This is a great town and a great school system, but we can always innovate. We can always do better. We can be leaders in innovative and effective learning. I am confident that our teachers, students, and staff have the capability to forge a path not only through the outbreak, but forward, into a future that sees Westfield as a district that sets a national example.

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