Read Bancroft parent Jayashree Mohandas’ unpublished letter to the Townsman.

Thank you to Bancroft parent Jayashree Mohandas for her letter to the Andover Townsman. Despite submitting it multiple times over two months, it was not published. I’d like to share it with you, since she took the time to write it.

Editor, Townsman:

As a parent of one child in elementary school and one starting Kindergarten this Fall, I am truly invested in the educational environment we are providing for our students. I’m delighted that Lauren Conoscenti is on the ballot for School Committee and I hope that you will join me in voting for her on June 9.

Working in higher education, Lauren understands well the journey that lies ahead after students leave Andover. Although my children are young, I think about their future and what they will need to be successful beyond high school. It will be very valuable to have someone on the School Committee with insight what students really need to be ready for college. That knowledge can inform our decision-making at the K-12 levels and can help keep the big picture in mind — which is to prepare our students for healthy, independent lives.

Lauren also has a remarkable way of connecting with people. At a time when the community conversations around school issues are heated, it is important to elect a School Committee member who is genuine, easy to talk to, and who can communicate with people from a diversity of backgrounds with empathy and understanding. Although she will tell you that these strengths were the product of a decade of providing therapy, it is my belief that these are not skills, but rather, qualities. This is simply who Lauren is. 

During the pandemic, I have looked to the candidates for indications of how they lead. Lauren has posted frequent updates, posed questions and shared challenges as a parent. Her opponents have been largely silent. It is imperative we vote for the most qualified candidate to continue moving our schools forward. I believe that her experience and character will be pivotal in helping make the right choices for our schools. Please join me in voting for Lauren Conoscenti on June 9.

Jayashree Mohandas