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Cameron to continue his friend's work on the School Committee

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM In an interview with Reminder Publications, newly appointed member of the School Committee Jay Cameron described his family life as one with great emphasis on quality education.

Cameron said that he and his wife have raised their two children to believe in the power of education and its potential impact on their future successes, while never forgetting to have fun by participating in extracurricular activities.

Cameron added that for the past six years he's been a mentor of the high school's Rosie Robotics team alongside his school committee predecessor, the late John Burns.

Cameron was chosen on April 28 during a joint meeting of the School Committee and the Town Council to fill the vacant committee seat left after Burns' death last month.

"For six weeks out of the year we were joined at the hip for the build season," Cameron explained of his work with Burns on Rosie Robotics to construct their annual robot for competition. "I spent almost every waking minute with John and quality time on the bus [traveling to and from robotics competitions]. He was a very good friend of mine and a very good mentor."

Cameron added that he is looking to continue Burns' work and lifelong commitment to education through Rosie Robotics and also the School Committee.

"You can foster any child's interest and that's what gets me really psyched," Cameron explained about those participating in Rosie Robotics. "We've graduated chefs, DJs and English teachers. There are so many different facets for the team to succeed."

He added that students not only participate in building the robot every year but also work to gain sponsorships and create marketing strategies, providing an outlet for each team member to flex their creative abilities outside the classroom. Cameron noted that his son, now a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston, and his daughter, a senior at Agawam High School, have participated in Rosie Robotics.

"Education is such a critical piece of an individual's success in life and I want to try and facilitate that for the students of Agawam as best I can," Cameron said. "In this role [as a School Committee member] I can get a broader view [of their needs] and have a wider impact on the students."

Cameron explained that he is fully committed to the committee and has already begun to learn procedures and responsibilities such as the formation of the fiscal budget.

Superintendent Mary Czajkowski said she has already met with Cameron to discuss the budget cycle, School Committee policy, the committee's future agendas and Massachusetts General Laws.

"I'm very eager to work with him," Czajkowski said, also noting his enthusiam to be a contributing member of the committee.

Cameron will participate in his first School Committee meeting on May 13.