Earlier this month, Norton resident Denis Feely filed papers with the Town of Norton to register as a candidate for the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School School Committee. As of Monday, he is the only one gunning for the Norton representative seat left empty by Christopher DeLeo.
Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School services students from Brockton, East Bridgewater, Easton,Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Stoughton, and West Bridgewater.
With two out three sons attending Southeastern, Feely says he is very familiar with the issues facing the school such as curriculum changes and keeping pace with the advances in technology in the business world today. As a member of the Parents Advisory Council, he attended a series of meetings with principal David Wheeler on many school related topics. Each meeting with Wheeler ended with Feely saying “if there’s ever anything I can do to help, just let me know.” When Deleo announced he was stepping down from the School Committee, Wheeler said he found something Feely can do, which resulted in his candidacy.
“My interest is to be of help to Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Lopes,” said the 56-year-old. “With the amount of students they have spread across all of their vocational programs, I am often amazed they are able keep the school as organized as it is.”
If elected, he promises to add his energy and experience to the Committee. Where needed, he also wants to assist students in their preparation for the business world.
“The school is doing a great job in teaching the vocational skills needed,” Feely said. “I want to assist Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Lopes wherever needed and believe I can also provide help in making sure students are prepared to aggressively and successfully seek good opportunities within their chosen field.”
Feely believes that vocational schools sometimes struggle meeting and exceeding academic standards while devoting sufficient time to the vocational needs of the students.
“The school must treat each with equal importance,” he said. “I believe the School Committee can help in reviewing and approving suggested programs that can assist both areas of the school. In looking at how the school is measuring itself concerning their achievements, I believe it is important for the School Committee to review the information presented with an attitude of ‘how can we help?’”
Feely is a six year resident of Norton and currently holds the title of assistant vice president of information technology for Randolph Savings Bank headquartered in Stoughton. He has spent most of the past 13 years within the banking industry in multiple roles within information technology management. Prior to these positions, he spent 15 years as a director of information systems for a large temporary help company in Cambridge and several years within the securities brokerage industry in Boston.
“My intention is to bring experience with information technology to the table and to assist them [the School Committee] where and when needed going forward,” Feely said.
Feely and his wife Leslie have raised three sons who have all attended vocational schools within Massachusetts. His oldest, Benjamin, is a graduate of the culinary programs at both South Shore Vocational High School and Massasoit Community College. He currently holds the position of first cook at the 99 Restaurant. His son Jeffrey graduated from the information technology program at Southeastern in 2011 and is currently attending Bridgewater State University. His youngest son, Denis, is entering his senior year at Southeastern in September and is part of their automotive program.
“I am genuinely interested in seeing Southeastern continue to grow and improve. I am genuinely interested in promoting the use of the school as a resource available to Norton,” Feely said. “I know the school and am confident I can add value to the committee as the representative from the Town of Norton.”
The election will be Nov. 6. Current representatives from the other towns are also running unopposed.