I am excited to be running for Newton School Committee in Ward 6. A top notch education is the greatest gift we can give to our children and it is an enormous contribution to our future. I am both inspired by all that the Newton schools provide for our children and also convinced that we can and must do an even better job. To that end, I will work tirelessly to ensure that all our children have access to the kind of learning experiences that will help them become active, successful, and thoughtful members of society.
Why run for School Committee? I think public education is at a crossroads. We in Newton have an opportunity to serve our own children and be a leader for other communities as we wrestle questions about what a great education really looks like in today’s ever evolving world. If elected, I will bring a wide range of personal and professional skills to the School Committee. As a highly engaged parent of two school-aged children, I have served many years as Room Parent, PTO Chair, PTO Council member and volunteer of all trades. Most recently, I worked long hours on the successful 2013 Override Campaign, which I believe will be critical to making sure our schools have the facilities and faculty to maintain quality learning for students across the district.
During my 15-year career in experiential education and non-profit management I worked directly with youth, including adjudicated and native Canadian teens. I partnered successfully with the non-profit, philanthropic, and public sectors to develop cutting edge non-traditional education programs. As a philanthropic consultant for the past 10 years, I have developed and implemented strategies to improve youth leadership opportunities and remediate environmental degradation in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the northeast. While my children are privileged to grow up in Newton, I am acutely aware of the needs of a wide range of young people and understand what it takes to educate children from all walks of life.
As a product of Newton Public Schools, I reflect on what has stayed with me through the years – the passion of teachers for their chosen subjects, a homework assignment that changed my worldview, the confidence gained through theatre and music and, most importantly, the faculty that committed occasional Saturdays to take students mountain climbing. I am prepared to dig in on some of the knotty issues and tough questions facing the Newton Public Schools over the coming years: managing our growing enrollment without diminishing educational outcomes; advancing appropriate use and equitable distribution of technology; and ensuring that all children are educated in ways that meet their individual learning styles. Additionally, NPS has significant capital projects that need to be completed on time and on budget to secure our infrastructure and financial future.
I hope to speak with many of you over the course of the next few months. I look forward to getting to know you and hearing your concerns, ideas and dreams for how to make a Newton the best place possible to educate the next generation.