School Committee candidate profile: Rebekah Pratt
Frustration with the current state of Wareham Public Schools prompted candidate Rebekah Pratt to run for School Committee. Pratt, a manager in the medical field, believes the school system is under-serving students and the community.
“We are capable of so much more,” said Pratt. “We need to go back to the basics with a fresh perspective and innovative approaches to the challenges that face our educators and students.”
Pratt said teachers, administrators and students leaving the district is a major issue facing the committee. To address that, she said fostering a work environment focused on honest feedback is important. And that starts with the administration.
“We must change the culture and this must come from the top,” said Pratt, whose daughter is a high school student. Pratt is also president of the Wareham Music Boosters and volunteers for Wareham Girls Softball.
A resident for the past five years, Pratt has 20 years of experience in business management and currently works as the director of Urgent Care for Compass Medical, a medical practice in East Bridgewater.
Her management experience will serve her well if elected, she said.
“I have the ability to recognize the goals and needs of each school independently and as a school district,” said Pratt. “I have tremendous success in increasing employee retention and creating productive, profitable and gratifying working environments.”
Pratt said keeping teachers and changing the overall negative perception of the schools are the most pressing issues facing committee members. Overcoming those issues will be difficult, she said, but possible.
“If we can focus on the employee experience by empowering our teachers and giving them the freedom, support, and supplies to be truly innovative – then Wareham Public Schools will be a place where the best educators and administrators seek out employment opportunities,” she said.
One change Pratt would like to see if elected, is allowing the community more time to comment during School Committee meetings. Currently, one part of the meeting is dedicated for public participation. Pratt said she wants to give more time to residents to make comments before members vote on major issues, even though she said that might be an “unpopular” decision.
“I would recommend that we work to show a more organized and open forum in which parents, educators, and students feel welcome and able to express concerns,” she said.