Published in the November 10, 2017 edition

MELROSE — Sears Avenue’s Jennifer M. McAndrew, a dedicated educational volunteer, was one of three first-time candidates elected to the School Committee Tuesday.

And she won in impressive style. McAndrew was the top vote-getter across the city during the 2017 municipal election, with 3,686 ballots cast her way all over Melrose.

Finishing second in the race for three empty school board seats was John S. Obremski of Hawley Road, who received 3,156 votes, followed by third place finisher Jennifer G. Razi-Thomas of Walton Park.

Also running were Christian J. Hashem and Peter I. Navarra.

McAndrew said, “I am honored to be elected to the School Committee and humbled by the opportunity to serve and work with the entire Melrose community. Together we can build and sustain a strong school district that empowers all students, supports our educators, and strengthens our city.


“Melrose is a great community, and I congratulate all the candidates who ran this year. It is inspiring to see so much civic engagement in a local election. Thank you to my husband Dave, our children, and all our friends and supporters for your help with this campaign.

“I look forward to working on important issues in front of us, including responsibly managing the growth of a thriving school community, supporting student achievement across the district, and continuing to invest in Melrose High School — our flagship school — for growth and innovation.”

John Obremski said the day after winning a school board seat, “I am excited and passionate about the future of the Melrose Public Schools. As a School Committee member, I will listen and work collaboratively with parents, committee members, and staff of the Melrose Public Schools to support exemplary teaching and focus on the well being of the whole child. I will work to create a realistic, positive, focused vision, encouraging all children to engage and love learning.

“As I said throughout the campaign testing to proficiency is not the end all be all for our children, and I will support innovative teaching, increased engagement, active student growth and social emotional learning.”



Jennifer Razi-Thomas said, “As a rookie candidate who entered the race for School Committee late and was fortunate to win the third seat that was open, I want to thank the kind and generous people of Melrose.

“I found through these last few months a city that is full of civic engagement and pride. So many of my neighbors and friends helped with my campaign to get the word out about me with very little time to spare and were unfailingly supportive and enthusiastic about my desire to serve on the Committee.

City leaders were also fantastic in mentoring and coaching me. I would like to especially thank Gail Infurna, Christine Casatelli, Paul Brodeur, Rob Dolan and Sam Hammer. I was heartened to learn that the voter turnout around the city was at a very high level for a local election that did not feature any ballot questions or the mayor’s race. It was inspiring to see the effort and energy of all the candidates, their supporters and the voters making for an exciting day yesterday.

“All this demonstrates that Melrose is an excellent place to live as it features citizens who will engage and work to make the city even better.

“What I hope to bring to the schools via the School Committee is energy and fresh ideas. I know that all three new members will bring support for social emotional learning and will work to make sure that the needs of the whole child are being considered. I will foster ideas that support dynamic and relevant academic and life experiences that prepare students for the 21st century workforce. Through excellent communication and civic dialogue we will encourage our scholars to become critical thinkers, hard workers and active citizens. I feel both honored and humbled to be chosen to serve on the Melrose School Committee.”