By Sara Brown -
Richard Freni said he wants to be a part of the school committee to continue the work in the community he does. He is running for a seat on the Revere School Committee this November.
“I’m not running for a seat on the school committee to ‘give back to the community.’ I have been doing that since my son entered the system at three years old and he is now 18. I have provided scholarships to RHS seniors through my foundation. I am a volunteer PTA member and huge supporter for the arts and athletics. You don’t need a title for this. You do it because you want to. You don’t need a paid position to give back and support your schools and community. I think that is what separates me from the other nine candidates,” he said.
“I bring a fierce passion to help these kids and their teachers,” he added.
Freni lives in Revere with his wife, Jodi, who is a lifelong Revere resident. His three children, Ricky, Julia, and Olivia, have all attended Revere schools. He has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector working in banking and investment management and is an active member of St. Mary’s Church.
Freni formed the Little Ricky Foundation after his son Ricky was diagnosed with autism. Little Ricky Foundation is focused on raising awareness and financial support for autism and other developmental disabilities in the community.
He says his experience working with the foundation has helped prepare him for the school committee. “I know how to get federal money and grants and I think that would really help the school system,” he said.
Freni says he has many goals he would like to achieve if he is elected. He recently read an article in the Boston Globe about the Boston Public School system having free lunches for all of the students. It’s an idea he thinks would work well in Revere.
“We have a lot of families where parents are working multiple jobs and still don’t qualify for free lunches. I would like to see this in Revere,” he said.
He would also like to see more after school programs in the city, especially in the arts. He would also like to see programs for students with special needs.
“I know with my son, once the school bell rang, he was home,” Freni said. “All kids deserve a place to go after school and a place to shine.”
He also doesn’t agree with the current middle school lottery. “I think it’s a flawed system and can be fixed. I think there are many parents that disagree with it. I have some ideas on how to fix it. If I’m elected, I want to bring my ideas to the attention of [Supt. of Schools] Dr. Dakin,” he said.
Freni says he can bring passion back to the school committee. “I am passionate about the students and teachers of this city. I think that has been missing on the board for some time. I have more passion than any other candidate,” he said.
He explained, “This isn’t about politics for me. This isn’t a paycheck for me. This [is] about being a voice for all children. I want to keep doing what I have been doing for years, just on the other side of the podium.”