Haverhill School Committeeman Wood Endorses Matias for Congress

Former state Rep. Juana Matias spoke at a Haverhill Democratic City Committee candidate dinner in 2018. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

Rep. Juana Matias speaks at a Haverhill Democratic City Committee candidate dinner on May 7, 2018. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

From Haverhill to Beacon Hill, Juana Matias is making her mark—and putting the Merrimack Valley on notice. The current Lawrence-based state Rep. is running to succeed Niki Tsongas in the 3rd District, and tells WHAV she drew on her Haverhill Public Schools education when developing her campaign’s education platform, released Monday.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education I received from the Haverhill Public Schools,” Matias said in a statement. “The teachers who believed in me didn’t just educate me; they inspired me. We owe it to every child to provide them with a high quality, public education.”

Matias’s plan focuses on universal pre-K, improved teacher salaries and addressing the student debt crisis. She also intends to lobby to end the school-to-prison pipeline, a trend that often finds at-risk students funneled from classrooms to prison cells.

School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr.

Longtime Haverhill School Committee member Scott W. Wood, Jr., calls Matias a “champion” for local students and families.

“During my time as a member of the School Committee, I have worked hard to expand after-school programs for our students. Juana is committed to bringing this fight to Washington to make sure when the last bell rings, there are safe and educational programs for students available,” Wood said in his endorsement. “I know she will be a champion for working class families because she comes from one, and has dedicated her career to serving the city of Haverhill, and the other communities across the Merrimack Valley.”

Going into September’s congressional primary, Matias has picked up support across the Merrimack Valley. Earlier this month, former Haverhill Mayor James Rurak, who served the city from 1994-2002 called the freshman representative a “true public servant.”

Matias faces Democratic opposition from Sen. Barbara L’Italien, Dan Koh and others in her bid to represent Haverhill in the 3rd District.