Jenny Graham, a parent of two Medford Public School students and owner of a Medford-based small business, has announced her candidacy for School Committee.
Graham kicked off her campaign at Medford Day on June 2, where she met with hundreds of Medford residents and children.
“It was a pleasure to meet with so many engaged Medford parents, caregivers, teachers and students to hear more about their experiences in the schools,” Graham said. “To hear directly from the students, we sponsored a coloring contest for the children and asked them to draw a picture and tell us what they love about their schools. Nearly 70 students participated and shared their views in their own words and pictures. The winning entry was submitted by a student from the Roberts Elementary School who drew a picture of her school and its beloved playground rainbow, saying that she loves her school because of her friends and because it is a happy place. We were pleased to present her with a $20 gift card to Colleen’s Ice Cream Shop.”
Graham serves as the co-chair of the Brooks Elementary School PTO and was a founding member of the Citywide Elementary Alliance, which raised almost $7,000 for each elementary school in its first year. Appointed by the mayor to serve as part of the Superintendent Search Committee, Graham was part of the team that interviewed and recommended finalists for the first new Medford Superintendent of Schools in more than 20 years. In that role, she authored materials that were utilized to attract a qualified field of candidates for the Superintendent position. Graham has also developed and authored other district-wide policies.
“As a founding member of the newly formed Citywide Elementary Alliance, Jenny Graham has been a dynamic and inclusive leader, bringing parents and teachers together from around Medford to work together,” said Bailey Schendell, the president of the McGlynn Elementary Parent Teacher Group. “The group raised tens of thousands of dollars in its first year and Jenny demonstrated that she delivers on her promises and gets things done. Jenny is a leader who thrives on thoughtful listening and collaborating with other community members to develop a plan of action, and then skillfully leads the effort to bring those plans to success. Her contributions to our district have had an immediate impact and I am so excited to see what she will accomplish as a member of our School Committee.”
Noting that Medford faces a projected net loss in school funding for the 2019-20 school year, second only to the decrease potentially facing the Boston school district, Graham has launched a petition to Gov. Charlie Baker and the state legislature urging key fixes to the school funding formula. As of June 2, over 700 Medford residents and stakeholders have signed the petition.
“Jenny is a regular participant in Medford School Committee meetings and she has a strong grasp of the issues and opportunities that are facing our school district, from the decrease in state funding, to the loss of students to charter schools and the urgent need to make a plan to maintain and improve our school buildings,” said Kristy Avino, a parent of a student at the Roberts Elementary School. “Jenny, like the rest of us, wants our school district to continue to strive for excellence, and she understands how state funding decisions impact education. Her professional skills and already proven personal commitment to all of our schools and children are much needed on the School Committee.”
Graham graduated from Babson with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in finance. Graham is the co-owner of Zelus Consulting Group, LLC, which is celebrating its 15th year in business helping government and insurance clients improve their core operations, become more efficient and improve the customer experience they provide. A recognized project management professional and certified professional in learning and performance, Graham develops strategic recommendations around improving processing times, installing new technologies to support changing business goals and designing curriculum to teach staff so they can be efficient and improve the customer’s experience.
“With two children proudly in the Medford public schools, I am a highly involved parent in our school district and I truly care about the education that my children and yours receive,” Graham said. “I have dedicated myself to understanding how the School Committee operates as a body of elected officials, and the key role its members have in making decisions for the schools districtwide. With this knowledge and what I have learned in running my own business, I have made it a priority to advocate before the School Committee for the betterment of our schools. I look forward to bringing my dedication and skills to the School Committee to serve our children, families, and the community.”
For information, visit http://electjenny.org or https://facebook.com/jenny4medford.