Tanya Whitlow Submitted photo

Name: Tanya Whitlow

Age: 41

Occupation: Organization program analyst at Community Concepts

Community engagement: Over the years I’ve engaged in my community as a chamber member, Lewiston Recreation basketball coach, former 2020 president of Lewiston baseball and softball, and I am currently an American Red Cross volunteer for Androscoggin County.

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions? 

No, but I do believe teachers should have the right to require students to wear a mask in their classroom if they feel it is necessary for their own safety and well-being. Our children are playing sports, hanging out with friends, and traveling without masks every day. But I also understand that some families feel very strongly that masks should be worn in school to protect their families at home.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Lewiston schools? 

At many levels within the school district and city, we are attempting to address equity and race. However, we still have a long way to go for the community as a whole to come together, accept our diversity, and work together on improving Lewiston’s culture.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative? 

The two most important issues I have already addressed and will continue to support is a change in our special education leadership and the need for our district to gain awareness around dyslexia. Statistically, 20% of all students are dyslexic and the typical reading intervention that is used does not help a child with dyslexia. When we talk about Lewiston’s low reading scores, we need to be talking about dyslexia and how we give our teachers the tools to help some of our most vulnerable students.

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