Vote Sally Cragin
Fitchburg School Committee
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Dear Fitchburg--

I have bicycled your hills, and walked your streets and knocked on your doors all spring, summer and fall on my own, with Lisa Wong, with Shaun Cormier, with Lisa's mom, with my son Christopher Tigran in a stroller. I have spoken to so many kids and parents and teachers and administrators and retired school department personnel and I thank you for your stories, your advice, your information, your experience and your hope.

I promise to work very hard at being a school committee member and - as I told so many of you  -- I will always ask, "how will this decision affect the lives of the kids in the classroom. Does this improve their school day?" I will also do research into matters before us. As a journalist, I have learned how to ask questions and follow-up questions and very often, the best information comes from consulting a wide variety of sources as well as looking at the historical record.

Thank you for voting for me. I am honored and inspired to do my best for all of our children.

Community Activities
  • Visiting Artist, 'Shadow Puppetry' for grades 1 through 4. 21st Century Program, Reingold Elementary School, Fitchburg, MA (2007).
  • Corresponding Secretary, Stratton Players (2005-present).
  • Programming Chair and Board Member, Fitchburg Historical Society (2002-2005).
  • Fitchburg Cultural Alliance, Museum Representative (2006-present).
  • Helped develop and launch FATV's 'Chess Chat' and 'First Reading' (for Stratton Players) (ongoing).
Writing / Teaching
  • Arts and lifestyle feature writer for the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix (1980-present).
  • Director of Media Relations, Fitchburg Art Museum (2002-present).
  • Playwright/Artistic Director/Performer, Button Box Shadow Theatre. I have also written historical narratives and short plays produced at Stratton Players, area libraries and other venues.
  • Creative Writing Program Director,  Fitchburg Art Museum, (1993-present). I have also taught 'Media Writing' at Webster University (St. Louis, 1999-2000) and worked as a Teaching Assistant at Harvard Extension School in the Expository Writing Division (1998-1999)
  • Editor/Publisher Button Magazine, (New England's Tiniest Journal of poetry, fiction and gracious living) 1993-present. My hope is that when people read it (in libraries, or in landfills) a century from now, they'll say, "Gee, what a wonderful time to have lived. I wish I lived back then!"
  • Columnist, Tales From Tritown, the Worcester Phoenix, 1993 to 2001, inspired by life in North Worcester County.

Personal History
My grandfather, Krikor (George) Mirijanian settled in Fitchburg after fleeing the Armenian genocide. He met and married my grandmother, Shakie (Charlotte) Manooshian, a first-generation Armenian-American
who grew up on Daniels Street. My grandparents owned and operated Star Cleaners (among other businesses) in Fitchburg until selling the company 15 years ago.*
My mother Janet Cragin began her teaching career in a two-room schoolhouse on Richardson Road, Fitchburg, in the 1950s. She taught kindergarten and drama at Applewild School for 37 years and spent many years as a Lunenburg Library Trustee. She directed the pageant for the town's Bicentennial in 1978 and 225th Anniversary in 2003.
My father's family founded Cragin and Wilkins Plumbing and Heating in Leominster in 1901. My father Donald was a journalist and served on the Lunenburg Water commission during the 1960s and 1970s. My brother Hal Cragin, a musician and producer, and I grew up with parents who were engaged in public service and the arts.
My husband, Chuck and I returned to this area in 2001. We have one son, 'T,'  age 4.

*Grandfather Krikor Mirijanian ADORED cinder-blocks for their low cost and utility. Some of his projects have passed from sight, like the Lamp Shop, but others remain as sturdy and straightforward as the day they were built, like Carol's Dairy Bar on John Fitch and Summer Street, the Lunenburg Street Star Cleaners and The Ayer Motor Inn, formerly the Motel Linda -- named for my aunt. She still has an outdoor thermometer with her name in Fab '50s script hanging in her California kitchen.
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