Jared Nicholson has announced his intention to seek election to the Lynn School Committee.
Nicholson, 29, moved to Lynn following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 2014.
“I applied for a fellowship when I was graduating from law school and I wanted to do it in Lynn because I thought the community development project that I have – working with small businesses – would be a good fit for a city like Lynn,” said Nicholson.
The Princeton University graduate said his great-grandfather, Frederick Peach, lived in Lynn.
An attorney, Nicholson works at Northeast Legal Aid – an agency that provides free, civil legal services to low-income residents on the North Shore.
“I really enjoy the community here,” said Nicholson. “I appreciate the welcome I have received and the support I have received for doing the work I’m doing. That’s a big reason why I want to get more involved.”
Nicholson grew up in Sudbury and attended Lincoln-Sudbury High School where he competed for the football and wrestling teams. He was also a wrestler for the Princeton Tigers Division 1 college varsity team.
There will be at least two open seats on the Lynn School Committee. Current member Rick Starbard is running for councilor-at-large. Member Charlie Gallo has announced that he will not be seeking re-election.
Nicholson will host a campaign kickoff event on June 15.
Following is his announcement:
Why I’m Running
I am running for Lynn School Committee because I plan to raise my family here, and like all Lynners, I want to send my kids to great schools. I am also so excited by the potential this city has, and I know that to reach that potential, we need to help our kids meet theirs. The schools play such an important role in helping our kids reach their potential, preparing them to participate in our economy and our democracy. I believe that I have a lot to contribute to that work as an attorney with a business background, an ability to speak Spanish, and a passion for public education having myself attended public schools.
Great schools broaden opportunities for the city’s children, attract new businesses that know the value of a good public education system, and encourage young families with a lot to contribute to seek out and stay in Lynn. We want longtime multigenerational residents, newer immigrant families, and young professionals looking for a historic community near Boston all to see a bright future here. That vision requires investing in great public schools and bringing innovative ideas to the table about how we stretch limited resources to meet the challenges of a diverse school district. As Lynn sets the standard for gateway city resurgence, public education needs to be recognized as the foundation upon which the city’s future is built.
Contributing New Ideas
I plan to contribute new ideas and offer a fresh perspective to the Committee. With our students’ futures in mind, I want to talk about how we can build pathways for students to college and jobs based on feedback from local employers. We also need to make sure that the knowledge our students gain in school is complemented by the development of the social-emotional skills they will need to succeed in life. We all know how vital our teachers are – I also want to explore how we can support teachers with helpful professional development and feedback to make sure they have the tools they need to tackle all that we ask of them.
These are a few of the new ideas that I want to focus on. I look forward to learning more about ways to improve our schools over the course of the campaign from students, parents, teachers, administrators and voters. Those conversations will be the centerpiece of my campaign.
We already know that the challenges the next School Committee will face will include financial concerns, rising student enrollment and infrastructure needs. I believe my legal and quantitative skills will be particularly valuable in work on those issues.
Another crucial role the School Committee plays is being the go-between for the schools and the community. A large proportion of students in the Lynn Public Schools come from Spanish-speaking families. Adding another Committee member who can talk directly to the large number of Lynn parents who prefer Spanish will be extremely helpful to the Committee in fulfilling that role as a go-between for the community.
My Background and
Experience in Education
My mother was a preschool teacher for over thirty years, so education has always been a priority for me. I was lucky to attend a great K-12 public school system in Massachusetts. I graduated from Princeton University in 2008, where I majored in public policy and focused specifically on education policy. I also had the opportunity to work on education policy as an intern in former Governor Deval Patrick’s office when the statewide Executive Office of Education was created. After college, I worked as a business consultant on projects all over the United States and Latin America, where I developed strong quantitative analytical skills that will be particularly valuable in helping make sure our school dollars go as far as they can.
Today, I am an attorney at Northeast Legal Aid, where I work on community economic development by helping small businesses who can’t afford legal help. I came to Lynn to work on economic development, and part of the reason why I’m running is because of how important having great schools is to Lynn’s economic development aspirations. I graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014, where I worked as a qualified student practitioner on housing, family and wage and hour law. I believe my legal skills and experiences will be useful in helping the School Committee understand and meet its legal obligations. My background as a legal aid attorney will also help make me a strong provider of constituent services as a School Committee member.
My connection to Lynn Public Schools dates back to the turn of the last century, when my great-grandfather graduated from Lynn Classical. For our schools to be great, they need to continue to improve and adapt to the 21st century economy. Public education generally and the Lynn Public Schools specifically are dealing with significant changes, which presents both cha
llenges and opportunities. I am running for School Committee to help the Lynn Public Schools meet those challenges and take advantage of those opportunities, to help make sure that the children of Lynn get the best possible preparation they can – to help them reach their potential so that we as a city can reach ours.