After mayoral election, Essaibi George goes back to school

Annissa Essaibi George, the former city councillor at-large who ran for mayor in 2021, is back in the classroom.

Essaibi George, who spent 13 years teaching at East Boston High School before she joined the City Council, is substitute teaching around the city for a couple of days a week.

"It's something that pulled at me," she said, pointing to an opinion piece from a Boston Latin Academy teacher who said the city’s schools were facing a substitute shortage. "I responded to that."

The Dorchester native said she’s enjoying returning to school buildings she toured as a councillor, as well as her old stomping grounds in East Boston. In recent weeks, she has taught at Madison Park in Roxbury, Boston Green Academy in Brighton, and Snowden International School in Copley, and she plans stints at the Boston Latin and Josiah Quincy School.

As a substitute teacher, she manages the classroom and makes sure the kids are working on their assignment. “It’s been very enjoyable,” she said, adding that they don’t recognize her as someone who ran citywide.

"I'm doing my part,” she said.

Essaibi George, 48, also continues to work at the Dorchester Avenue yarn shop she owns and operates, The Stitch House. The daughter of a Polish woman who was born in a post-World War II German displacement camp, Essaibi George has also attended events like a recent Saturday fundraiser for Ukraine at the Polish American Citizens Club.

Essaibi George’s last day on the City Council, where she was chair of the education committee, was Dec. 15. She was the runner-up in the November election for mayor, coming in behind fellow City Councillor At-Large Michelle Wu.

Essaibi George is still closing the books on the mayoral election. In 2021, she raised and spent $2.7 million while running for mayor, a wide-open race sparked by the departure of her former neighbor, Marty Walsh, for President Biden’s Labor Department.

This past February, Essaibi George raised $30,000 and has about $19,600 in cash on hand, according to the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Noting that most campaigns have some debt after an election, she said, “I’m simply raising a few bucks to pay off campaign debt.”

“No decision” has been made on political next steps, according to Essaibi George.

Other openings could occur and lead to a potential move: If Congressman Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat, leaves his seat, Essaibi George could be among the contenders. The district stretches from South Boston, down through Dorchester and Quincy and into Scituate and Brockton.

“I’ve always wanted to keep my doors of opportunity open,” Essaibi George said Monday during a phone interview with the Reporter, reprising a line she said in her last days as a city councillor, when she was mulling a run for governor.


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