Melissa Jannino Elam spent a good portion of her weekend holding signs with her family outside the Early Voting polls at the St. Anthony de Padua Church on Revere Street.
Elam is running for the Revere seat on the Northeast Regional School Committee. The City Council appointed Elam to the 12-member committee following the death of her father, Ronald Jannino, who served for 35 years as Revere’s representative.
Elam has kept busy attending Northeast Regional Committee meetings, meeting with Northeast school administrators, and participating in Northeast’s process to build a brand-new vocational school on its campus in Wakefield.
Though Elam wants to be the Revere representative, she must seek the support at the ballot box from voters in all 12 communities in the Northeast school district.
“It’s very confusing for the voters,” Elam said candidly. “We have to run in all 12 cities that are part of the Northeast district. Right now, I’ve been using “Dear Friend” cards, social media – that’s the primary way this year which is obviously a different year [because of COVID-19).”
Elam, a 1993 graduate of Revere High School, said as a Committee member, she attends monthly meetings on the progress of new school construction plans. “People can visit the Website, northeastbuildingproject.com to follow the planning process,” said Elam. “It fantastic because it gives you up-to-date information on what’s going on with the school project, photos, designs – and they keep it very well updated.”
Melissa’s father, Ronald Jannino, was a highly respected member of the Committee. Through Mr. Jannino’s leadership and support, Revere steadily built its enrollment at the vocational school to the point where it had the highest number of students in the entire district.
“We hope with the new school that we’ll be able to enroll even more students from Revere and other communities,” said Elam. “We expect with all the land available there, we will have an incredible school and campus for our students.”
Elam was joined on this past weekend’s campaign visibility by her husband, Craig Elam, her son, Jack Elam, and her mother Linda Jannino. Her daughter, Catherine Elam, a Division 1 college cheerleader, is completing her studies at Coastal Carolina University.
“We’re looking forward to the next couple of weeks and seeing more people and being out there holding signs,” said Elam.
(This story is the first in a two-part series about the candidates seeking the Revere seat on the Northeast Regional Vocational School Committee. Next week: candidate Anthony Caggiano).