Editor, Townsman:

As a recent graduate of Andover High School (Class of 2020), I have a deep appreciation for all of the challenges that the past year has presented for the district. I understand the devastating impact that this pandemic has had on the mental health and well-being of students, because I am living through it myself.

Despite the challenges and roadblocks that Andover has had (and continues to have) to overcome this year, School Committee member Tracey Spruce gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that she is the person to get us there.

In 2018, Spruce ran a campaign centered around a commitment to the "whole child" - not just their academic successes and extracurricular opportunities but also their mental health and well-being. This sort of approach is more important today than ever before, and if you listen to Spruce speak at any of the School Committee meetings, you are almost certain to hear these issues enter the conversation.

Spruce continues to impress me with the careful thought, attention to detail and questions she raises with every vote.

Spruce is the kind of representative that gives me hope for the future of politics and public policy. Not only is she an engaged listener who communicates and responds to her constituents with genuine empathy and compassion, she has demonstrated time and again that her views and opinions are not set in stone and are capable of evolving with the latest science and data.

I walk away from any conversation with her feeling valued and respected, and her choices on the committee show me that she is always acting with the best interests of Andover's children at heart.

Spruce is an outspoken voice and a natural leader in our town, and she has been an asset to the School Committee since her election in 2018. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and I have every confidence that she will continue to be a passionate advocate for our town's children.

I urge your readers to join me in voting for Tracey Spruce on March 23.

Trenton DeBonis

Andover

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