HOPKINTON — Sylvia Stanley said she’s running again for the Chariho School Committee because she has more to contribute to the regional school district.
“I’ve enjoyed it and feel that I have more to give the schools,” Stanley, the committee’s current chairwoman, said. The Hopkinton resident is one of three candidates running for three open seats, and she’s unaffiliated with a political party.
The spouse of retired longtime Hope Valley Fire Chief Fred Stanley, she’s recently been caring for her husband, who is ill.
A retired manager of a medical office, Stanley said that before joining the committee in 2014 she was a secretary for the committee, and also a bookkeeper at the Hope Valley and Ashaway Elementary schools. It gave her knowledge and insight, especially into how the district builds its multimillion-dollar budgets.
“It’s hard, especially with less money coming from the state,” she said. Also, the state requirements for education are becoming continually more complex, she said.
“There has to be a balance between the taxpayers and the students, and we all know that,” she said. She became chairwoman of the committee in 2016 and will relinquish the post at the start of her next term. Chairmanship typically rotates among committee representatives from each of the three member towns.
Among accomplishments during her term, Stanley, 76, named the recent opening of the new Chariho Alternative Learning Academy as a highlight.
“Before the project started, we had a tour of the original trailers for the RYSE program,” she said. “We were appalled.”
The new facility is a complete turnaround, and an example of how the district is able to meet the needs of its students. “With small classrooms and focused instruction, these kids do very well,” she said.
Stanley said she was also is proud of other accomplishments, such as the launch this year of a welding instructional program for high school freshmen.
“We’ve been able to draw in really good teachers,” she said.
As the committee’s head, she set down expectations for decorum that ensured that members treat each other with respect in order to avoid discord that had the potential to make the board less effective.
“I have no problem speaking up when I have to. But I do it politely,” she said.