Thursday, October 26, 2017

Franklin Candidate for School Committee: Anne Bergen

This interview with Dr. Anne Bergen (AB), candidate for Franklin School Committee, was collaborated on via email.

Franklin Matters (FM): Tell me a bit about yourself, your family, and your life here in Franklin? What is your Franklin story?

AB: I am married (husband Tom) and have one adult daughter who was lucky enough to be educated in the Franklin public schools. I came to Franklin as a young teacher and never left! I also served as a reading specialist, elementary principal, middle school principal and acting head of the English department at Franklin High School. In my current role as school committee member, I view my work through the lens of educator, parent and now senior citizen.

FM: What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? What do you bring to the table that helps to set you apart from the others?

AB: My knowledge of curriculum and instruction, school policy, budget and a thorough understanding of what it takes to manage and protect buildings and grounds. I think because I have spent a great deal of time interviewing/meeting with students, teachers, parents, senior citizens, I have a profound understanding of what matters to the stakeholders in our community. 

Too many of our young people today are suffering from depression and anxiety; mental health issues contribute greatly to the eventual use of substances which are destroying the lives of so many families. Working with the Safe Coalition and the Substance Use Task Force has broadened my understanding of the complexity of this issue and what we can do to more powerfully address the social and emotional needs of our students

FM: What do you see as your role’s biggest challenge and do you have any suggestions on how we can resolve it?

AB: All of us I think will point to finances as a huge challenge, trying to maintain a high quality system in a time of fiscal uncertainty. It means establishing clear priorities based on what is best for our students in today’s world and making sure our budget reflects those priorities. As school committee members we must be transparent about school finances and communicate student needs to the public, working with our elected officials at the national, state and local levels. We must be the voices for our students. 

It is always up to the citizens in a community to decide what they are willing and able to support; that is the beauty of a democracy. But we must continue to inform our citizens in an open and transparent way, so they will have the best information available upon which to make those decisions.

To follow up directly with Anne, you can reach her via email at 

From the archives, her interview in 2015: School Committee - Anne Bergen

You can find about more about what Anne does in her regular Franklin TV broadcast "It Takes a Village". In this episode, she talks with Jim Derick of the SAFE Coalition.

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 7. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion. 

Offer to Candidates 2017 

Election Collection - 2017

Election Collection - 2017

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