School Committee Candidate Responses


NEWS – School Committee Candidates Respond to QuincyCAN’s School Energy Questionnaire

Click the candidate’s name to go directly to that candidate’s response or scroll through all responses below.

All candidate responses appear in the exact form in which QCAN received them.

Noel DiBona
Barbara Isola
Emily Lebo
Anne Mahoney

Click here to see QuincyCAN’s press release regarding the School Committee candidates’ responses.


Full text response from Noel DiBona:

During my 5 min. QATV speech I mentioned the importance of recycling and energy efficiency.

It was one of my main topics of my speech. I’m behind helping with all your needs.

But, I can’t do anything unless elected. If the current administration isn’t doing the best they can. Then you need to push for people to vote for me.

Starting Friday OCT 25th the segment will air on Qatv.

Sincerely,
Noel DiBona

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Full text response from Barbara Isola:

Thank you for reaching out on behalf of QCAN. As a School Committee member, I am acutely aware of the importance of employing conservation measures in our building projects. As you may know, QPS has a number of exciting projects that are ongoing. From new windows to solar panels, we are in a position to save energy, which is not only cost saving, but beneficial to our entire community.
Barbara Isola

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Full text response from Emily Lebo:

1. As a School Committee member, knowing that the Quincy public schools utilize over 60% of the city’s energy use, how will you promote energy efficiency and renewable, clean energy in all of Quincy public schools? How well are Quincy public schools teaching their students about energy conservation, energy efficiency, and alternative energy? If they could do it better. Please specify how. Please be specific in your response, taking into consideration the 10 hours of community service required by High School students

I believe that the strength I bring to the School Committee is in Teaching and Learning. I am certainly a clean energy advocate, as both my husband and I drive hybrid vehicles and we recycle five times more that we throw away each week. However, I would hardly consider myself an expert in this field. I am happy to see the new building getting accolades for its green design and am sure Central Middle School will also. They mayor has been replacing windows and roofs in all the schools and has plans to put solar arrays on many of the public buildings. The Next Generation Science Standards, although not yet fully released, have sa significant amount of content on energy efficiency and I will be happy to see those in place.

2. As a coastal community subject to the effects of sea level rise, Quincy has an enormous stake in energy use in climate change. Please specify as many ways as you can think of (in as much detail as you want to provide) for the schools to lower their own energy use through conservation and efficiency. What will you do to assure the implementation of any conservation/efficiency measures you have specified?

• First of all education about the environment, global changes and prevention methods.
• We could do a better job of recycling in all the buildings.
• Lights that shut off when there is no movement in rooms would help.
• Figuring out how to stop the amount of power that is used to keep computers and other peripherals on while not being used and coming up with a solution to decreasing that power flow would help also.
• Making sure we are using the least energy using trays and plates in the kitchens.
• Composting in the cafeterias.
• Not putting food on students’ plates but allowing them to decide what they will take.

3. Three solar electricity contractors have proposed installing solar parking canopies or carports in the parking lots of city buildings, including several schools. These structures would provide
sheltered parking at no cost to the city as well as generating solar power that the city could buy at a discount off the price it is currently paying.

I would not make any decision on this until I had seen exactly what they looked like and how well they work. Our parking spaces at the schools are not parking lots but also serve as playgrounds
for our students. I would not want to see anything that would block the light from the buildings not interfere with playing in the lots around the schools. We may want to solicit interest fromneighborhoods.
I see potential problems unless the community where one is proposing placing these agrees that it wants them. I would not force this on a neighborhood. One would need to give them good information before any proposal and allow them to see other places where this has worked.

4. For more than a decade, high school students in Hull have attended class in the shadow of a utility-scale (600 kilowatt) wind turbine.
a. Would you support small scale (~10 kilowatt) wind turbines on the grounds of any Quincy schools? Which schools in particular?
b. What benefits—educational, environmental, and financial–might accrue from such a turbine, and what would you do to help bring wind power to the Quincy Public Schools?

Not only would I support this but I actually wrote a grant that got QHS solar installation trainers, an inverter and a small turbine. The Turbine was never installed and it may be able to
be put up somewhere, still. I do think Turbines should be placed where they will get the most wind and disrupt the fewest abutters. I do wee a powerful tool in them and other installations (solar and weather stations) where students can see the correlation between what is happening outside and how much energy they can put into the grid. If the school and community agreed witt this, I could possibly see a small turbine going up in back of Broadmeadows.

5. What other ideas/opinions/goals would you like the public to know about your candidacy as it relates to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation?

That support it in my daily life. That in the past, I have written two grants: one for Quincy High and one for Madison Park High, in Boston. Both schools put in place solar trainers, inverters and curriculum. Madison’s grant also included a solar array on the roof and a weather station.

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Full text response from Anne Mahoney:

1. As a School Committee member, knowing that the Quincy public schools utilize over 60% of the city’s energy use, how will you promote energy efficiency and renewable, clean energy in all of Quincy public schools? How well are Quincy public schools teaching their students about energy conservation, energy efficiency, and alternative energy? If they could do it better. Please specify how. Please be specific in your response, taking into consideration the 10 hours of community service required by High School students.

Alternative energy, energy use and the path to efficiency and use of clean energy can and should be part of the science curriculum. It can and should be supplemented with lessons on energy and alternative fuels, in the contexts of physics, chemistry, biology and earth science. Lessons can and should also be included for English, mathematics, art and social studies classes. Alternative energy should be discussed and part of every subject.

With regards to the community service the new $1.5 million dollar park has plans for a garden. A sustainable garden owned by our student population would allow our students to take ownership of the food that is grown. The culinary students could use the vegetables in their cuisine that is consumed by our patrons of the café. This would be a great example of maximizing learning opportunities and giving back. We have many learning opportunities that could be reinforced through community service. The Recycling program was started through a dedicated teacher and his students who volunteered.

A final thought would be to invite community leaders like the Quincy Climate Action Network into our classrooms to discuss the projects that are happening or could be happening in our schools or neighborhoods.

2. As a coastal community subject to the effects of sea level rise, Quincy has an enormous stake in energy use in climate change. Please specify as many ways as you can think of (in as much detail as you want to provide) for the schools to lower their own energy use through conservation and efficiency. What will you do to assure the implementation of any conservation/efficiency measures you have specified?

Quincy High School is a green building. The New Central Middle School is a green building as well. Sterling is on our radar to be renovated. Montclair just got new energy efficient windows. Four more Quincy Public Schools have the approval for new energy efficient windows. I have requested that a baseline energy use be done at the schools that will receive the new windows before any work is done. With this data we can calculate the savings of the new windows after they are replaced. This exercise would validate and quantify the window replacement project for the QPS students as well as the citizens of Quincy. It is important for our community to understand how these investments can save the city money in the long run. This type of approach to projects will pave the road for future efficiency projects down the road for the remaining buildings in Quincy.

Things that can be done in school and at home to save energy:
• Turn out the lights
• Stop the Drips
• Close the Doors
• Change the settings
• Reuse and Recycle
• Get involved

The school committee would have to rely on the Mayor and his/her administrations to invest in other large-scale initiatives. The Green Schools that are currently online (QHS) must be monitored for efficiencies. We have had problems and the building will need to be re-commissioned to ensure we are maximizing the buildings efficiencies. Putting things in place or building something to a standard is only part of the puzzle. We must monitor the results and understand the use of energy to be truly efficient. The addition of Mr. David Scott is a step in the right direction.

3. Three solar electricity contractors have proposed installing solar parking canopies or carports in the parking lots of city buildings, including several schools. These structures would provide sheltered parking at no cost to the city as well as generating solar power that the city could buy at a discount off the price it is currently paying.

a. Would you support solar carports at any Quincy schools? Which schools in particular?

That sounds very intriguing. I would need to understand this project better but if it proven to save the system money I would support it.

b. Do you see any obstacles (political, logistical, etc.) to putting in the canopies/carports, and how could you help in overcoming them?

The only obstacle that I foresee is the feedback from our neighbors at the schools. So depending on the neighborhood school, what the structure looks like and how it fits into the neighborhood could possibly become an obstacle. I would always have an open mind for this kind of project because I believe in the mission but it has to fit the school and the neighborhood.

4. For more than a decade, high school students in Hull have attended class in the shadow of a utility-scale (600 kilowatt) wind turbine.

a. Would you support small scale (~10 kilowatt) wind turbines on the grounds of any Quincy schools? Which schools in particular?

Yes – Both High Schools. We may need to pilot the program first at one High School.

b. What benefits—educational, environmental, and financial–might accrue from such a turbine, and what would you do to help bring wind power to the Quincy Public Schools?

A 10-kilowatt wind turbine on a campus could serve as a teaching tool for students, teaching them to operate, maintain and repair wind turbine generators.

It would be the most valuable teaching tool for our students and instructors. The immediate access to hands-on learning opportunities that a turbine provides would enhance the efforts of our teachers and will complement other technologies such as solar energy.

Having a working turbine system available to students would allow them a firsthand opportunity to compare theoretical calculations with actual performance.

Running calculations, reading articles and looking at pictures do not complete the learning experience. A turbine would allow the students the ability for ‘what if’ questions that they can work
through and see changes in performance.

The turbine could be used for multiple lessons such as safety fundamentals, residential wind, wind power concepts and turbine management.

A primary benefit of the turbine would be the annual energy production. On a 10-kilowatt wind turbine the potential return could be around 10,000 kilowatt-hours at an average wind speed of 11mph. (I had to look this up!)

The wind power technology program could become a Chapter 74 program-preparing students both for college and direct-to-work paths. A student who graduated from a program like this, could get a leg up with a college specializing in renewable energy programs or secure internships or possibly a job with manufacturers such as Siemens and or General Electric, which maintains operations at a number of wind farm sites. To help bring wind power to Quincy I would show statistics and prove the value of the program and needs of energy savings. This is truly a 21st Century educational opportunity for the future of our students.

5. What other ideas/opinions/goals would you like the public to know about your candidacy as it relates to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation?

I would like the public to know that renewable energy offers us efficiencies and savings that could benefit the City’s financial bottom line. Renewable energy isn’t just the future it is here today and the city of Quincy is behind other communities. I am a candidate that is not afraid to support renewable energy. We must do our best to educate the general public as well as our students. I would look to reduce some of the misnomers and propaganda by fossil fuel companies when it comes to adopting green energy. I would work to inform the public and push for a full airing of facts when it comes to green energy. It is time that we really recognize and understand the value of energy conservation and begin planning for the future.

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Click here to see QuincyCAN’s press release regarding the School Committee candidates’ responses.