Candidate profile: Apryl Rossi for School Committee
When Apryl Rossi was in school, budget cuts were a constant threat to the programs she and her peers enjoyed. The music budget was slashed; teachers were laid off. One year, her school’s football program was cut, she recalled.
Looking back, Rossi said those memories became motivation.
“Watching parents and community members rally around to try to make sure that everything was still going to happen for us kids — that really inspired me, young, to be able to want to do that as an adult,” Rossi said.
Now, Rossi has a son of her own. He’s been attending Wareham schools since first grade and is currently a sophomore at Wareham High School. According to Rossi, she and her son have been at “the forefront of all the major changes” in the district over the last few years.
“When they split Decas and Minot, he was in that first wave of students who had to handle that adjustment,” Rossi explained. “He was in one of the first waves of kids when they moved the fifth grade to the Middle School, and he was in the first section of eighth graders at the high school.”
Rossi is an incumbent candidate who has served on the School Committee for two years. She said she’s enjoyed her time so far, and hopes to serve on the board for as long as her son is in the district.
“I think there’s so much potential and so much good being done, but there’s always room for improvement,” she said. “I just want to stay a voice for the kids in the community that I’ve been a part of since my son’s been in Wareham schools.”
Currently, Rossi is the only sitting School Committee member who has a child in the district.
Rossi has lived in Wareham for 10 years, and works as a hairstylist at TarraDean Studio in Onset. Rossi was a Wareham Tigers cheerleading coach and board member. In the past, she volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in Onset.
Before running for School Committee, Rossi also occasionally worked as a substitute teacher for Wareham schools. She said that work and her other town involvement introduced her to the district’s teachers, students and families.
As a committee member, Rossi said she prioritizes cutting through the jargon.
“I try to make sure that if I have a question — even if it’s a slight question and I understand it — I try to clarify as much as possible for the parents and for the community members who may not have a background in education,” Rossi said.
If re-elected, Rossi said she would like to see the student voice drive more decisions. At the high school, Rossi said many decisions are already student-driven, especially where extracurricular activities are concerned.
“I’d like to see that trickle down to the other schools,” she said. “Because they’re the ones that are receiving the education; they’re the ones that are in the school every day.”
Voters may remember that Rossi is named as an individual defendant in a discrimination lawsuit brought by Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood against the School Committee and town — but she says that doesn’t impact her ability to effectively serve on the committee.
“I have not ever let anything stop me from performing my role as a School Committee member,” Rossi said. “I have no issues with Dr. Shaver-Hood. I hope that everything resolves itself in due time.”
She said she couldn’t discuss pending litigation, but emphasized that she’d never let outside factors impact her judgement or ability to be professional.
“I’m still committed to the kids, to the community and to making sure that we are the best district that we could possibly be,” Rossi said.
“I hope that people will know that with me as a committee member, I will do my best to hear you,” Rossi said. “I will do my best to help you.”