Jessica Skehan

I’m writing to urge you to vote YES on April 3rd override for our town and schools.  I’m talking to you as parent of school ages kids, a spouse of a Reading teacher and as a Spanish teacher for the last 19 years.


My children have thrived and enjoyed their years so far in Reading.  My oldest is now poised to enter 7th grade.  These past few months have been difficult imagining what his educational experience will be like if the schools have to make cuts.  His class is already one of the largest at Coolidge.  He is looking forward to starting language next year and experiencing a school day that allows for academic thought and cultural/ artistic subjects.  Without this override passing, that won’t be possible.


My husband has been teaching at Reading Memorial High School since 2007.  Over the years, his class sizes have ballooned to classes as large as 33 students.  Budget cuts have severely affected the high schools in the past 5 years.  They have endured cuts during years when the town didn’t even propose an override.  His teaching experience has diverged from mine over the years because of the fact that we work in different towns with different approaches to overrides.


As a language teacher myself, I know that if  Reading students miss out on language classes in the middle school, this will set them up for a very different high school experience.  These cuts will destroy the ability for students to take 5 years of a language, dismantle the opportunity to take AP language and take away any chance of second language proficiency.  Cultural awareness and knowledge of another language sets children on a path to be effective members of a global society.


We have lived in Reading for 13 years.  Our neighborhood reflects all the generations and backgrounds of this town.  I understand the needs of my neighbors and a town functions well when the needs of most of its members are met.  This override will fund the police, fire and school departments.


Please vote YES on April 3rd.  Reading is at a crossroads.  Work together and let Reading be the best town it can be.  Thank you.

Jessica Skehan

Locust Street

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