Westfield school committee welcomes new members

WESTFIELD – The city’s three new school committee members are gearing up for their first official meeting since being sworn-in last week.
Ramon Diaz, Diane Mayhew and Michael Tirrell, all political newcomers, were elected to the committee in November. Since then, all three have been doing their homework.
“I have been attending the school committee and school building committee meetings and talking with other members of the committee to familiarize myself with the issues,” said Tirrell. “I’m trying to prepare as best I can for the coming year.”
Both Diaz and Tirrell have expressed interest in the finance and technology subcommittees, and all three members would like to serve on the school building committee. Tirrell said technology and curriculum go hand-in-hand and he would be happy to serve on that committee as well.
Diaz said he is looking forward to getting to work.
“I’m very excited,” said Diaz.  “I began attending school committee meetings before the election and I have attended every meeting since my election, as well as school building committee meetings. I’ve been doing my homework.”
Diaz has also met with almost every principal in the school district and said he will continue to meet with administrators and tour every school.
Mayhew said she is “very excited to start the process at our first meeting on Monday.”
Since her election, Mayhew has been reading some of the lengthy manuals on policy so she is ready to act on the issues at hand. She has also been visiting the city’s schools.
“This is one thing I believe is important to understand  – each schools’ needs in a very informal way,” said Mayhew. “I plan on continuing this process at least once a year during my four year term.”
Mayhew said she is interested in serving on the instruction and curriculum committee, as well as the human resources and policy committee.
Diaz, a 1986 graduate of Westfield High School, has been married to his wife Maria for 19 years and has two sons at Southampton Road School, where he serves as the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president. Diaz works in the technology field at MassMutual.
Mayhew was born and raised in Westfield and attended St. Mary’s schools. She and her husband raised three children who all attended Westfield Public Schools. Mayhew said she worked in food service at Noble Hospital and Westfield State before taking time off to raise her family. Mayhew was an active school volunteer and now that her last child has graduated, she has time to devote to the committee and the community.
Tirrell is also a lifelong Westfield resident and “proud product” of the public schools. He and his wife Erinn have two children at Highland Elementary School and one child at Fort Meadow.
A 1996 graduate of Westfield High School and a 2000 graduate of Westfield State College, Tirrell has worked in the technology field for 14 years.

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