Mark has represented Ward 5 on the Somerville School Committee since 2006. He successfully advocated for:
- Parent/guardian liaisons in each school.
- Foreign language instruction beginning in 7th grade.
- A new salary structure to hire better teachers.
- Expanded music, art, sports, and after-school programs — without fees.
- More parent involvement in hiring principals and administrators
- A district-wide Volunteer Coordinator and a staff person in each school to coordinate volunteers
- An open and transparent school budget process with many opportunities for public comment. (A timeline for the FY 2014 school budget is below on this page.)
Mark has provided strong leadership on the School Committee:
- Urged the School Committee to adopt ambitious, rigorous two-year goals, which it did in April 2012. (You can find the goals for 2012-2014 below on this page.)
- Chaired the School Committee in 2010, when the School Department was one of the few parts of city government to get a budget increase. Mayor Joe Curtatone remarked several times, in public, “…this is the strongest School Committee I have served on.”
As Chair, led extensive public meetings and the School Committee’s deliberations that resulted in the vote to restructure and unify the Healey School under the progressive philosophy and practices of the Choice Program. (2010)
- As Vice-Chair of the School Committee, led the 2009 budget deliberations, working closely with Mayor Curtatone and the Board of Aldermen to avert fiscal catastrophe following the 2008 global recession.
- As Personnel Subcommittee chair, conducted an open and transparent hiring process for two key leadership positions, the Director of Special Education and Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Curriculum. (2007).