Meet Sydney Teixeira

May 17, 2023

First-time candidate Sydney Teixeira is running for one of two open seats on the Rochester School Committee. If elected, she would be the first “Generation Z” candidate elected to office in Rochester.

People in “Generation Z” are between the ages of 11 and 25, according to the Pew Research Center.

“A lot of the people that are on the School Committee have children in the school, or they've been educators or they are parents,” she said. “My experience is coming from a student who has been in the system, who knows students in the system. My goal is to be, in a sense, the voice of the student.”

She admitted that while some voters may take concern with her age, she still has a wealth of experience to draw upon.

“Although I am the youngest person running, I feel that I do have experience,” she said. “It's different than everybody else's … But the thing that I want my voters to know is that I'm eager, and I'm willing to learn and to grow with this committee.”

Teixeira graduated from Old Rochester Regional High School in 2018 and has since gone on to Emmanuel College to earn her bachelor's degree.

Now, working in the medical field, Teixeira said she hopes to bring that experience to the Rochester School Committee.

“One thing that I've learned from working in healthcare is patients just want to be heard,” she said. “I want to be a person that listens to all points of view, I want to be able to collaborate with my school committee members and listen to their points.”

In her campaign, Teixeira said she has identified three major issues facing the school district.

First, she mentioned that bullying is “on the bus,” said Teixeira. “Students need to understand that the bus is a continuation of school.”

Teixeira suggested that bus monitors could help solve this problem.

She said she also hopes to help increase students’ literacy skills and test scores following Covid-19 learning loss.

“We have some students [who are] working very hard, but we need to provide more effective literacy programs to make sure that the students are caught up and are meeting the MCAS expectations,” she said.

Finally, as a former member of her high school music program, she said she hopes to find a way to bring on full-time music and art teachers.

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.

“I believe that our educators and school district staff have the credentials to know which books are appropriate for our students,” she said. “I believe if there is concern [about] the contents of a book it should be a parents choice to decide what is best for their child. We should not exclude every child from having the opportunity to read a book just because a parent decides it is not appropriate for their child.”

According to Teixeira, the greatest strength of Rochester Memorial School is the children’s “eagerness to attend school.”

“I know that our students are great, and we need to provide them the tools to continue to make their mark and make their families proud,” she said. “That's all these kids want to do. And I see all these happy learners, and I want to continue to make these kids happy so they can be better learners.”