Schuster, who was first elected in the fall of 2005 at age 25, said that though serving his two terms on the committee has been “the most meaningful work” of his life, his interests have broadened beyond educational policy.
“Local public service is something that everybody should have the opportunity to experience,” he said.
A Cambridge native who had gone through the city’s public school system, Schuster said he was originally encouraged to run for school committee by the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts.
Schuster, then working as a teacher in CPS, said he noticed that the committee lacked teacher representation. When he was elected, he was the only current teacher on the committee.
During his time on the committee, Schuster said he emphasized civics education and helped start a sub-committee to improve the way the school committee’s decision-making process. Schuster said that he, along with other members, strove to help the committee to work “collectively as one rather than seven individuals fighting for four votes.”
Committee member Alfred B. Fantini, who is in his thirteenth term, called Schuster a “bright young man who brought our discussions to a healthy and thoughtful level.”
Fantini said he tried to convince Schuster to stay but ultimately respected his decision.
Schuster said that not having to campaign for re-election will allow him to focus on the superintendent search, the budget, and the district’s controlled choice policy.
A current student at the Harvard Kennedy School, Schuster said he will complete his Masters in public policy in 2010 and hopes to run for public office in some capacity in the future.
—Staff writer Michelle L. Quach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.