2011-12-29 / Letters

Thanks to a quality town

To the editor:

There are times when the word “final” can be associated with “reflection,” and seldom does someone thank a voting public after an election loss.

After my final Brunswick School Board meeting earlier this month, I could not help but reflect on my initial three years as an elected member of the board. I sincerely thank the voters for giving me this opportunity to become part of their town.

The cause for reflection does not associate with any momentous achievement or special influence relative to an issue. Instead, I am able to realize what those three years meant to me.

At the age of 71, I made the traumatic decision to uproot myself from Western Massachusetts, where I had taught and lived since 1966, and establish my retirement in Brunswick. I arrived at my adoptive town in January 2008, knowing literally fewer than a handful of people.

Snow was already piled high along the streets, and the cold was an indication of what was to come, albeit not that much of a difference from Western Mass.

Later that year, I responded to an editorial in The Times Record questioning why more citizens did not run for public office. Two of these positions were for local school board seats, and having served on a board in Massachusetts for two terms, I thought perhaps this might be a good way to get involved with the town.

I subsequently took out papers for the atlarge opening, and the people of Brunswick had enough faith in my background to elect a complete stranger to a most important office of helping to guide the education of their children.

It is for this that I truly thank the voters of Brunswick, a situation that enabled me to get to better know and understand this town, a town I had heretofore known only in the summer for its musical theater and its restaurants.

I arrived at a critical juncture in the life of our town: Brunswick had to deal with the closure of the Navy base, negotiations for the Downeaster to extend to the downtown and, most of all, the building of a new school, something in which I had been involved in my prior board experience.

Having had three great years serving Brunswick in this capacity, I cannot speak more highly of a town so supportive of education and their schools, and my colleagues on the board whom I can now call friends.

The Brunswick school administrators with whom I have had the privilege of working have been exceptional, and the town is lucky to have their quality leadership.

The base is now undergoing a renaissance, the Downeaster is coming and the new school is a thriving example of the town’s commitment to education. I have been so lucky to be here during these historic transitions.

While I cannot deny being disappointed in not continuing with the School Board for another three years, what I gained from the association with parents, teachers and even students will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Even though I will not serve in any official capacity, I feel I have become a part of the Brunswick schools and will continue to support their extracurricular activities and educational endeavors with the same passion and fervor that I did as a board member.

As a teacher for 44 years, I have led a wonderfully diverse life and had many great experiences with students whom I taught. Together we were all over the world sharing in many unique and exhilarating situations, and I would continue to offer to share these in any capacity where there might be a need or interest.

I have now come to learn that this is a quality town with quality people and resources. I thank you one and all for the three years you gave me to renew my life in a fresh and invigorating environment.

John B. “Jack” Jones


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