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The Waltham Candidates: Harold "Jerry" Walker for School Committee (incumbent)

Posted by Ralph Ranalli October 22, 2007 10:25 AM

Harold "Jerry" Walker

Age: Will be 61 on Nov. 2

Family: Wife, Judith, and two adult daughters who attended Waltham Schools

Neighborhood: North Waltham

Education: Bachelor's degree in History from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Master's degree in Education from Boston University

Occupation: Waltham High School history and social science teacher from 1968-2003, now retired.

Experience: School Committee member since 2003; founding member of Youth Opposed to Using (YOU), a student anti-drug and drinking group; Waltham Park and Recreation Board member since 2003; member of Waltham High School Evaluation Steering Committee for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation, 1973-75, 1983-85, 1993-95; Reagle Players Featured Performer appearing in more than 30 productions.

Key issues: Walker said he wants to find ways to encourage and enable teachers in Waltham to work through the ranks and become administrators. He thinks professional development offered to teachers should have more of a practical emphasis, and that successful master teachers within the district should be encouraged to share their methods. He also wants to make the School Department website a better tool for communicating policy, achievements and information about the schools.

What distinguishes him: "I think I wear a number of hats. Besides being a former educator, besides being a community person involved in things like the Park and Rec Board, and a parent and a grandparent... I am a stage performer, so that helps with interpersonal skills a great deal." He said his years as a teacher who created courses like AP History and Foreign Policy gave him insight into what makes an effective curriculum, and his experience as an evaluator of other school systems with NEASC helps him to better evaluate Waltham's schools.

Listen to an audio clip of Jerry Walker describing what should be done to recruit and retain more qualified teachers to Waltham.

-- Stephanie Siek

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