BY CHRIS STEVENS
THE DAILY ITEM
Stanley Wotring finished last with only 780 votes among School Committee candidates in the preliminary election but he is undeterred.
“I’m not at all troubled by my finish because we all know what happened to Vinny Spiri-to,” Wotring said.
Wotring was referring to the 2011 election where School Committee incumbent Vincent Spirito finished first but ended up last in the general election. He is hopeful that history will repeat itself.
The 51-year-old is a bit of an unlikely candidate. The man behind the blog Lynn School Watch often seems to be at odds with Superintendent Catherine Latham and the very board he seeks to serve. He laughed off the notion that he would not be able to work together with Latham.
“There isn’t anyone I haven’t offended,” he said. “I know Dr. Latham isn’t in favor of my blog but I know at least a few in her administration follow it.”
The fact that Latham has even mentioned his blog, he said, “is a good indication that I’m a good thorn in her side. She knows she’s being held account-able. She may not like it but she knows.”
Wotring is running a shoe-string campaign, declining to take money from anyone because he doesn’t want to be beholden to anyone. He has one campaign sign, made by his son, that spells out his desire, Stanley Wotring for School Committee, in red and blue marker.
“It says ‘full time all the time’ because I don’t have a job, so I have nothing else to do but serve,” he said.
Wotring suffered a head inju-ry in 1981 when the car he was driving went over an embankment after he swerved to avoid hitting a dog.
“I was in a coma for 11 days,” he said.
The accident left Wotring dis-abled but he persevered and finished college on time, pick-ing up a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in
chemistry, he said.
“He won’t tell you this but he was an honor student on his way toward a brilliant educa-tional future until an accident intervened and changed all the circumstances,” said Wotring’s longtime friend Edmund Pecukonis.
Wotring said the main reason he is running for School Committee is for the kids, including his own. He has a daughter who is a freshman at Lynn English High School and a son who is a freshman at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute.
“I want education to be an adventure, I want them to want to come to school, I want it to be exciting,” he said.
Latham introduced a pilot math program last year and Wotring said he was blown
away when one afternoon he overheard students talking about it animatedly.
Transparency, honesty and reading, because it is the basic fundamentals that every child needs to succeed, are also areas that he plans to focus on if elected, he said.
How he plans to turn his cam-paign around so he can focus on those goals is one step at a time, literally.
“I started walking about a week before the preliminary and I got a lot of encourage-ment,” he said. “My campaign strategy is to walk all over Lynn with my sign. I’m a prin-cipled person and I don’t have personal wealth and I don’t want this to be about money. It’s about education and school … and I don’t want to owe nobody nothing.”
Chris Stevens may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.