School board chair has high hopes for new school year

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School Committee Chairman Bob Golledge is bullish on what the Canton School Department can accomplish this coming school year.

rodman1Golledge is grateful to the community for approving funds for the Hansen School classroom addition along with a near 5 percent increase in the FY2016 operating budget. He believes this will be another productive year for the school system with the implementation of later start times at Canton High School, the appointment of a new permanent superintendent, the opening of the newly renovated CHS tennis courts, the beginning of a solution to the full-day kindergarten issue, and a possible renovation at the Galvin Middle School to free up more classroom space.

“Canton schools are on the move on a positive note and we want to continue that,” said Golledge as he addressed the committee and the public at the opening of the committee’s July 30 meeting.

Golledge is entering his third year as a School Committee member and his first year as chairman. Professionally, he is the principal of Golledge Strategies & Solutions LLC, a consulting firm focusing on environmental and public health matters.

Prior to establishing his consulting firm, Golledge held several leadership positions in state government, including secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). He also served a stint as country director of the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa, in 2007 and 2008.

A native of Newton, Golledge received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine at Orono. He and his wife, Susan, moved to Canton in 1993, and with all three of their children having graduated from the Canton Public Schools, Golledge decided that he wanted to give back to the community and continue his public service-oriented career.

He is disappointed that former School Superintendent Jeff Granatino left Canton to be the superintendent in Marshfield, but he has been very impressed with the job that interim Superintendent Jen Henderson has done over the summer and believes she will continue to “do a great job leading the School Department.” Like Henderson, Golledge believes the school system must continue to produce students who are well educated and well integrated into the community.

In a recent interview with the Citizen, Golledge touched on many topics impacting the school system. He said it took at least a year or two, but he now fully understands the intricacies of formulating a school budget. He also considers himself lucky to have two veteran colleagues, Reuki Schutt and John Bonnanzio, to lean on and learn from their experiences.

Golledge is asking for patience from the community during the first few weeks of the school year as the district implements new start times and bus routes. He understands there will be challenges, but overall he feels that the later time at Canton High (8 a.m. instead of 7:20) will be beneficial for all students academically.

The next key piece of the budget picture for the coming fiscal year is now unfolding as the committee continues to negotiate with the remainder of the school unions on new contracts …

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