Meet the Candidate: School Committee Joe Paru

Hello Holliston! My name is Joe Paru, and I am running for a seat on the Holliston School Committee. I live near the center of town with my wife, Ashley, and our very rambunctious 3-year-old son, Benjamin. I am a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and work in the Legal Department of a telecommunications company in Quincy.

As a member of the Holliston Lions Club and Open Space Committee, I have been invested in giving back to the town because I think it is important that we do our part to leave our community better than we found it. To that end, I am running for the School Committee because I believe a quality education is key to the development of an individual and a prosperous Holliston. With a toddler who will be entering the school system in the near future, I have a personal stake in ensuring that our students are provided with the best environment conducive to learning and I will work tirelessly to ensure our schools excel in every aspect.

While I will continue to incorporate feedback from ongoing discussions with residents, my platform is built on four key pillars:

  1. Proactive Transparency: Open communication and transparency are essential for building trust between the School Committee and the community. It is wonderful that committee meetings are shared online via Holliston Community Access and that the School Committee has recently begun holding office hours surrounding the budget discussion, but we can certainly do more.

In addition to participating in the existing office hours reserved for a particular subject matter, I will hold personal office hours with parents, students, legal guardians, school staff, educators, and other community members. I want to hear about your experiences, your concerns, and want to address the questions you may have.

Let’s face it; our lives are busy, and not everyone has the time to attend a School Committee meeting or watch online. Except for what is discussed in Executive Session, I will make sure you have access to minutes from every meeting of the Committee. I will utilize social media to ensure those are delivered to you via all Holliston social media groups, my personal page (coming soon), and a newsletter which will be accessible at any time.

  • Continuing to Fight Antisemitism and Hate: Antisemitic incidents have been at an all-time high across this country, and unfortunately, our town and schools are not immune. As the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, this is especially concerning to me. Recently, antisemitic materials have been found on school grounds, and at the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education November meeting, a Holliston High School sophomore testified to the antisemitic instances which have transpired and how her classmates have been negatively impacted. While I believe the town has made great strides in addressing these particular events, we must not let up. Perpetrators must be held accountable, and we must continue to educate our students about the harm of antisemitism and all forms of hate. We must ensure that we create and maintain an inclusive and welcoming school environment for all students, staff, and educators.
  • Building Repair and Maintenance: I know all too well the importance of a school’s infrastructure in providing a safe and conducive learning environment. As a former student in the Boston Public Schools, my classmates and I faced many challenges from leaky roofs to random electrical issues, and even pest infestations, all of which served as a major distraction that no student deserves to face. I will prioritize addressing long-overdue repairs and maintenance to our school buildings and properties, and I plan to do so by appealing to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for grants, which, if approved, would keep costs low for town residents.
  • Civics Education: It is vital that our students understand their role in society and are equipped with the knowledge to both participate in our democracy and keep Holliston functioning at a high level. As I write this, there are spots for important boards in town where no nomination papers have been pulled, including the Board of Assessors and Board of Health. To garner interest in town government, I propose we provide students with hands-on learning. As a student in the Lynn Public Schools, we participated in “Student Government Day,” which afforded students the opportunity to shadow city government officials and hold mock meetings for their assigned roles. I would love to see something similar implemented in Holliston, as it increased my interest in public service at a young age. Our students are the future leaders of this town, state, and nation. Let’s give them the tools they need to lead.

I am committed to hearing and representing the diverse voices of our community. Holliston’s schools are great, but with collaboration from those voices, they can be even greater.

Thank you for considering my candidacy. I look forward to the opportunity to serve and make a positive impact on our schools.

I hope to earn one of your three votes on Tuesday, May 21. Thank you.

Press Release