Middleboro School Committee candidate: Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Lewis

Mar 29, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — He’s only seven years removed from his graduation from Middleboro High School, but Ezekiel “Zeke’’ Lewis will be the most senior member on the School Committee if he is re-elected.

That consistency, he said, matters.

He decided to run three years ago in part because he wanted to “step up’’ and try to make a difference.

School Committee, he decided, would be a good fit, since he had gone through the school system. “I knew the faculty, I knew the staff,’’ he said. He also knew students, including the siblings of his friends. “I thought I could do the most good there, lending a perspective’’ as a recent student.

The School Committee oversees the school budget and School Superintendent Carolyn Lyons.

Some public criticism has been voiced about the superintendent, who some have said is not always communicative with the community. Lewis agreed that “she does have the responsibility to be seen,’’ but noted that “all the events I go to, I’ve seen her at.’’

He also said that people can “always email her. She gets back to you.’’

He acknowledged that she has a more “formal’’ style than her predecessor, Brian Lynch. “She does things by the book,’’ he said.

Issues have also been raised about next year’s school budget. Lyons had originally proposed a budget of about $46 million. That amount was cut to $40.5 million to reach a figure that the town could work with.

Questions have come up about the cuts made to reach that amount, which came from sources such as revolving funds and grants that some described as unsustainable going forward.

Those funds are “there for a rainy day,’’ Lewis said. “Today it’s pouring.’’

But he acknowledged he “also has concerns,’’ particularly with some money taken from the facilities account, which is responsible for building upkeep. He would like the facilities subcommittee, which focuses on this account, “to be a little more active.’’

Another issue that some have raised involves public comment at School Committee meetings, which is limited to three minutes per speaker. Some have said that time limit restricts the ability to make a point. Lewis said comments rarely reach even the three-minute mark, but that he would consider expanding it to five minutes, although the decision is made by the committee chair.

Still, he said, communication matters. “It’s always better when people have more of a say,’’ he said.