We hear the thunder of the multitudes when a local makes it big. This week, Massachusetts residents will be cheering on Angie Miller as she continues her quest to be the next American Idol. When local kid Lou Merloni took the field at Fenway as a local prospect years ago, the crowd roared with approval and support.
It’s one of those maxims of life. We cheer on those who we know. I don’t believe, though, that this is out of some blind sense of ethnocentricity. We tend to support locals because we know them. It’s likely that they share our interests, our values, and most importantly, our commitment to the local community. This axiom is true and can be as localized as the neighborhood in which you grew up, the town as a whole, or even a state or region. We love the fact that Stephen King is a Red Sox fan, even though he’s from “up there” in Maine.
On the local level, when we choose leaders, both elected and appointed, the “home town advantage” is a strong determining factor, for the aforementioned reasons and more. When we place our trust – the public trust – in someone to lead us and claim responsibility for our public resources, it’s vitally important that the local interest is foremost in the candidate’s interests. Being a local almost certainly guarantees that.
As the Mashpee School Committee continues to grapple with the challenge of its most important decision – the choice to choose the school department’s next leader – the opportunity to select a highly qualified candidate with strong roots in the community, a proven commitment to Mashpee’s youth in and outside of school, and a clear record of professional accomplishment, the fact that these qualities come from a Mashpee resident offers a local bonus that can’t be ignored.
Brian Hyde has been working for the Mashpee Public Schools since 1989. He has held several administrative positions, including his current stint as Assistant Principal at Mashpee High School. He has served as a coach, advisor, department chair, teacher, and administrator. He brings to the table accolades from the public and private sectors. Most recently, He has been recognized by the United States VFW with the Citizen Education Teacher Award. He has twice in the last five years received the Mashpee High School Principal’s Award. His ability to inspire Mashpee’s youth is unquestionable – among his many accomplishments are nods as coach of the year in two different sports.
Community feedback has been stellar. “Mashpee needs someone who can work with everyone – teachers, students, school committee members, the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, and the state. Mashpee needs someone who knows the community, knows the most immediate issues, and knows the culture and climate, someone that can hit the ground running. Brian Hyde can do that,” said a long-time local property owner and businessman in Mashpee.
Experience. Integrity. Results. Community Support. The local guy has them all.
The formula appears to be there for an outstanding candidate. Mashpee has Lou Merloni in the dugout ready to take the field.
Will the School Committee recognize this and make the right – the local – choice?