We are pleased to have three parents running for two Newton South School Council parent representative positions. We have included each of their statements below in alphabetical order. Once you have reviewed their statements, please click here to vote for your two preferred candidates. Voting will close on June 5th at 12:00PM. Voting is limited to parents/guardians. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I am the parent of Lucy Hill, an incoming 9th grader from Oak Hill Middle School. My eldest daughter, Sophie, graduated in 2014 from NSHS, and my middle daughter, Althea, spent 9th grade at NSHS. All three children went to Bowen and Oak Hill.
Since I became a Newton resident, I have advocated for public education, and co-chaired both the Bowen PTO and Newton PTO Council, an umbrella group of all the PTOs in Newton. I was also a member and co-president of the Newton South School Council until last year, when I had no students attending NSHS. I was a candidate for School Committee in 2009, and am currently a member of the Steering Committee of the League of Women Voters of Newton. In my professional life, I am a math teacher at Brookline High School.
I would bring to the Newton South School Council a combination of perspectives gained from a deep understanding of the educational system. As a parent, advocate and educator, I can see issues from several perspectives and contribute to discussions in a productive, thoughtful way. I am very familiar with the current School Council focus on early school start time, as I was part of the research group in my earlier term on School Council.
My daughter, Raizi, will be a freshman at Newton South this fall, after 3 years at Oak Hill and elementary school at JCDS, the Jewish Community Day School in Watertown. I was privileged to serve on the Oak Hill School Council all three years, and with two principals.
During the last three years, the Oak Hill School Council worked on a School Improvement Plan, social-emotional issues, and creating a school climate survey to address these issues. Also, and like the rest of the District, we studied the Growth Mindset literature and explored ways to help teachers bring the research into their teaching, as well as how to help the parent community understand the concepts. A few weeks ago we presented our work at a parent coffee.
The most rewarding part of School Council – and what I would hope for if I serve at NSHS – was working with the principal and teachers who took the extra time to allow us parents to brainstorm with them about critical pieces of Middle School life and learning. I think (and I think Mr Harutunian would agree) that our variety of perspectives and backgrounds added to the ongoing conversation in which the administration and faculty were engaged.
In my non-School Council life, I am a lawyer in a private negotiation and mediation practice. Primarily, I negotiate employment contracts for individuals. In my negotiation work I use openness, collaboration, listening, brainstorming and a sense of humor to “get to yes.” I would bring these qualities to School Council as well.
- Emma Bassett, current 8th grader at Oak Hill; grades 4-5 at Bowen
- Aidan Bassett, current Sophomore at NSHS; grades 6-8 at Oak Hill
I believe I would be a valuable addition to the NSHS School Council, bringing both corporate and nonprofit leadership experience. I spent 25 years in professional services firms and small businesses. In those roles, I focused on designing service strategies, leading teams, developing new markets and community-giving programs. I have worked directly with 200+ nonprofit organizations to build mission-focused, donor-centered sustainable fundraising cultures.
As a professional advisor to nonprofits, I worked successfully with cross-functional teams of board, staff and volunteers to achieve their goals. Focus areas included: community engagement, budget management, fundraising, and public-private partnerships. I have also served as board president for a Preschool/Kindergarten, working to build sustainability and predictable resources to best serve the children and support teachers and staff.
I currently run a small consultancy in team and leadership development and I am a certified professional coach. My clients appreciate my unique blend of integrity, innovation and contagious enthusiasm. I believe that active-listening, open communication and clear vision are the jet fuel needed for organizations and people to thrive. In all my professional and volunteer work I place a priority on collaboration – building candid, resilient relationships that endure even when politics or budgets change. I hold a BA in Planning, Public Policy & Management from University of Oregon.
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