Meet Joe Pires
Incumbent Joe Pires is running for his third term on the Old Rochester Regional School Committee.
Pires said he has been a resident of Rochester for 21 years and that “it has been a blessing to have been able to raise children in a community that promotes good morals, values and respect for each other.”
In a statement, Pires described himself as “an honest individual who values transparency and open communication.”
He also said he is “deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our children. I believe that we must take a proactive approach to ensuring that our schools are safe and secure, and I will work tirelessly to advocate for policies and procedures that prioritize student safety.”
While serving as a School Committee member, Pires was in support of a 2017 initiative to bring sexual assault defensive training to the high school, saying “In the Tri-Town you have a feeling of being safe, but that’s not necessarily the case … I applaud the program. I’m a major advocate of it.”
During his time on the School Committee, Pires has often found himself in opposition to other School Committee members on key issues.
“Above all,” said Pires. “I am someone who stands up for what is right, even in the face of opposition. I believe that the school committee has a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of our students and our community.”
This year, ten library books held in the Old Rochester Regional High School and Junior High Schools were challenged for alleged explicit content. This has sparked discussion over suitable in-school materials.
“Content such as this is, in my opinion, child abuse,” he said, referring to the books under discussion as “vile material” during a School Committee meeting on Oct. 19, 2022.
When the Old Rochester Regional School Committee held a vote to reject or accept the 10 books in question, Pires cast a negative vote for each book.
“It’s unfortunate that a parent’s right to protect their child’s innocence is being superseded,” he said, during a Dec. 12, 2022 meeting of the School Committee.
In his campaign, Pires said that the Old Rochester Regional School District needs to “become more efficient on where our tax dollars are spent,” adding that “we need to ensure that our schools have the resources they need to retain our school teachers, faculty, and staff. We cannot afford to lose talented educators who are invested in the success of our students.”
He has also supported the implementation of nominal stipends for School Committee members.
“It’s not the dollar amount, it’s the principle,” he said in 2018. “I’m not a volunteer. I have a commitment. When I have to drive here in the middle of the day to sign something, that’s my responsibility to my constituents.”
Pires added that “as a candidate who is a minority,” he understands that it is “important to focus on making decisions that will benefit everyone, not just a select few. By prioritizing the needs of the entire community, you can ensure that every student has access to the resources and support they need to thrive.”