My name is Anna Lin Mitchell and I am seeking your vote and support as a candidate to fill one of the open seats on our School Committee. I believe my educational, professional, and personal experiences will be of great benefit to the committee as we set out to tackle the many challenges before us.
As a first-generation immigrant, my family moved to the United States from Taiwan when I was 16 years old. Although it was not easy to start a new life in a new country at the age of 16, my parents instilled in me the important values of honesty, commitment, and strong work ethic, which served me well in the years ahead. I worked hard to learn English quickly, graduated from Lexington High School with honors, went on to attend and graduate from Johns Hopkins University in three and half years, and later earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Boston University while working full time.
In my professional career I have worked in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors, specializing in budget management, and providing organizations strategic recommendations and financial analysis. I am currently the Chief Financial Officer for the nonprofit organization Splash, which works to deliver clean water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for less fortunate children around the world. I have strong experience working collaboratively with diverse groups on a broad range of challenging issues and topics.
My husband was in the Navy for over 25 years, and we were fortunate to live in a number of locations (some better than others) before deciding to settle down in Manchester-by-the-sea. We have been living in Manchester since 2017 and all three of our children are enrolled in MERSD. We have a sixth grader, a fourth grader and a kindergartener. Manchester provides a fantastic community and a superb school system. In fact, it was the strong schools that were the driving factor in our decision to settle here.
As a prospective committee member, I’m eager to look into the disappointing planned cuts in teachers, math, art, and foreign language curriculum. I’m hopeful that with a thorough analysis of the district’s entire budget we may be able to reverse some, or even all, of these painful cuts.
With an upbringing focused on strong academics, I grew up playing the piano and trumpet and believe music and arts can help provide a good balance to the overall learning experience. They can also provide a creative outlet for our children’s inquisitive minds.
In addition to English, I speak Mandarin fluently and appreciate the importance of a foreign language curriculum. Elementary aged children might not pick up foreign language quickly, if at all, however, I believe it's not just about learning the language itself, but also involves exposure to varying cultures and diversity of thoughts and experiences.
Budget cuts are never easy, but I believe my financial and budget management background will help provide the school administration and the community financial insight and support to allow us to make the best decisions together for our children.
Having a demanding full-time job and three young children is a lot of work, but I am excited to dive into the issues and serve the people of our community on the School Committee. I humbly ask you for your vote on May 17.
Thank you for your consideration.