Meet Erica Morency
The race is on for two open seats on the Dartmouth School Committee, and five local residents have declared their candidacy for the posts. Among those running is Erica Lyn Morency, a holistic practitioner and mother of two Quinn School students.
Morency said that she decided to run because she has kids in the public school system and doesn’t feel like the Dartmouth schools “reflect the town.”
“I feel like I’m in the place right now where I can try to make a difference,” she said. “I just think we, Dartmouth, can do better, and I think we need to do better, and I just want to help.”
The first-time candidate said that, if elected, she would bring a student- and teacher-first approach to the role.
She added that her top priority would be increasing teachers’ compensation, either through pay raises or by reducing health insurance costs.
“These schools are great because the teachers make them great,” she said. “That’s what makes great schools — recruiting good teachers and retaining them. And we need to do that.”
Morency, however, stopped short of advocating for an override of the town’s levy ceiling — which would allow the town to raise taxes by more than the normal 2.5% year-to-year limit — in order to pay for the raises.
Instead, she hoped the money could be found through “responsible budgeting” and “maximizing grants.”
“There’s got to be a way to refigure the budget,” she said. “Can you make cuts [in] places? Are there places where we don’t need certain things? These teachers are the forefront of the school and they need to be put first.”
Morency added that, as a part of her platform, she would like to “continue to honor the tradition of the Dartmouth High Indian symbol.”
On some of the more controversial issues facing schools, Morency said that there should be room for discussion about banning certain books from school libraries if they are deemed inappropriate by parents. She added that a hard line should be drawn at pornographic or sexual imagery.
Morency also stated that diversity, equity, and inclusion “should not be a priority right now” and questioned whether a subcommittee devoted to such topics really “benefited students.”
Given the issues facing the school system, Morency said that she would be the best person for the job because she’s a rookie without a political agenda and isn’t afraid to have difficult conversations.