Neil Perry graduated from UMass Lowell with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Spanish. He began his professional career as a state certified Transitional Bilingual Educator in the Methuen Public Schools – teaching in the Corliss, Central, and Oakland Avenue schools. Neil subsequently earned a Master of Business Administration Degree (with a concentration in Accounting) from Southern New Hampshire University. He has served as an adjunct professor of accounting at Northern Essex Community College.
As a teacher, professor, and parent, Neil has been committed to public education. He believes that every child should be guaranteed a high-quality education and he knows that a first-class school system is critical to a strong and vibrant community.
Neil will work with Methuen’s teachers, school administrators, and families to provide every student the opportunities and support that will allow them to reach their full potential.
As Mayor, Neil will:
▪ Actively engage in the leadership of Methuen’s schools as Chair of the School Committee. Like most Methuen residents, Neil was shocked to learn about the school department’s $4 million-dollar deficit just weeks before the end of the last fiscal year. He will take the responsibility to serve as Chair of the School Committee very seriously. Not only will he actively represent the interests of the citizens of Methuen, he will work to improve communication, cooperation, and coordination between municipal government and the school department.
▪ Show up and be involved with Methuen’s students, parents, and teachers. As a former teacher, Neil is very comfortable in a classroom. He will visit our schools, listen to our school administrators, and support our teachers. In addition, he’ll regularly meet with parent groups and will support academic and athletic activities throughout the school system.
▪ Work with school administrators, teachers, and parents to significantly expand after school programs. Neil understands that students with access to extra support are more likely to fully master a subject and be confident learners. Expanding Methuen’s after school academic opportunities will ensure that every child has the building blocks for future success, while also reducing stress on families as they struggle with topics like “new math.” Neil supports creating additional programs that will provide academic and social support to students beyond the traditional class-day. This investment will help Methuen close the achievement gap, while simultaneously offering our hard-working parents a safe haven for their children. He also believes that creative educational programming presents an opportunity for public-private partnerships; including possible corporate support for specific after school programs.
▪ Advocate for state funding to support essential educational programs. Neil understands that state-mandated expenditures place a significant burden on our school system and the municipal budget. He will actively work with our state legislative delegation, state education officials, and with other municipal officials to advocate for funding formulas that treat Methuen fairly.
▪ Work with school administrators, teachers, parents, and community leaders to build a multi-year spending plan for Methuen’s schools. Nearly every budget cycle brings a new financial crisis, or another set of impossible choices to our school officials and ultimately to our city council. Neil believes we shouldn’t be making these decisions on a year-to-year basis – we need to have a city-wide discussion about the future of our school system, develop expectations for educational outcomes, and build a multi-year spending plan. He will ensure that our city budget doesn’t require the current “take from here to give to there” approach which jeopardizes schools, public safety and infrastructure.
▪ Implement a comprehensive capital improvement program to maintain first-class academic and athletic facilities. Over the years, Methuen has invested in first-class school and athletic facilities. Neil is committed to making sure we maintain our educational infrastructure – making repairs and improvements as needed.