Milford Board of Education District 5 candidate: Adam De Young

Adam De Young

Adam De Young

Contributed photo

Party: Democrat

Are you an incumbent? (If yes, how many years in office): yes (in my 4th year)

Current job: Small business owner

Volunteering background, if any: Board member of the Milford Land Conservation Trust, PTA member @ Orchard Hills School, Milford Knights Basketball Coach

Education: BS Communication UMass Amherst

If elected, what will be your primary focus — budget, curriculum, another topic?

While I believe it is incumbent upon a member of the Board of Education to take a holistic approach to the job, there are areas that I am specifically interested in.

Since starting on the Board, I have worked tirelessly to improve the transparency of the budgeting process. One of the areas I am proudest of my work in is the implementation of a new table that details where changes in Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions are being made. For instance, when I started on the Board it was simple, we are adding or subtracting X number of FTE) with no explanation. Now during the budgeting process administration provides Board members and members of the public with specifics about where FTE hours are being cut and added.

Another area of focus for me has been on early childhood education. I have pushed the district to investigate and implement a purposeful play curriculum in Pre-K and kindergarten which is now being piloted in our schools.

What is your stance on the recent calls by some for more input in the curriculum? Do you feel the curriculum is proper, any issues or changes needed in your mind?

In my time on the Board of Education I have come to appreciate the specificity with which the Superintendent and her leadership team inform the public around curriculum through Instructional Highlights at Board of Ed meetings as well as communications home through a variety of channels including emails, the monthly SuperNews video series, as well as an active presence on Twitter.

When I first ran for the Board one of the biggest issues I had with the previous administration was a lack of transparency. With new leadership the transparency of curriculum in our district has been incredible.

As a parent of twin 9-year-old daughters I have also spent many days with my daughter's classroom teachers discussing what is being taught in the classroom and if I had larger concerns I have always been welcomed by the principal at our school to discuss them further.

I believe in being a fierce advocate for my daughters and consistently encourage parents to speak up when they believe it to be necessary.

The current curriculum, in my view, is providing our students with the necessary tools to be critical thinkers in the 21st century.

Your thoughts on the school budget — how it stands now for what is needed in the schools?

I believe the school budget has been thoughtfully crafted with both the needs of our district and fiscal responsibility in mind. I believe my role as a Board of Education member in the budget process is to ask probing questions and engage in deliberate discussion with administration to get a clear picture of alignment with the Board's budget priorities.

During my time on the Board I have advocated for investments in our aging buildings and infrastructure, the implementation of World Language for our youngest students, the reduction of class sizes in grades 3-5, the investment in the Jonathan Law library (and planned investment in the Foran library), the Chromebook 1-to-1 initiative (which allowed our district to continue to teach and learn during the COVID-19 pandemic), and STEM labs in all of our elementary schools.

I believe it is my responsibility to advocate for continued investment in our students, schools, our teachers and staff.

All candidates can also respond about their reasons for running, time they have lived in the city, and why they are best for the role.

I have lived in Milford for 13 years with my wife, Jessica. We have two smart and strong twin daughters who attend Orchard Hills School.

It is my view that parent voice is critical to the process of creating a school district that works for all stakeholders. It is for this reason that I originally ran to represent the 5th District and why I am running again.