Winchester School Committee
Why I'm Running Again
Winchester is becoming increasingly polarized politically, which is a shame. Particularly when it comes to our schools, there is so much we agree on. Those who know me and my work appreciate that I am not motivated by politics. I believe I bring an analytical and fair-minded approach to district goals and challenges and am always willing to consider an alternative point of view. I’m exhausted by this pandemic and its real-world impact on instruction and learning. I appreciate the stress that we’ve all been under and our district’s focus on mental health but I’m also incredibly proud of the resiliency, creativity and overall positive attitude brought to bear in the face of such change and uncertainty.
Though we surely do not agree on everything, respectful public discourse is essential to good government. We should celebrate our successes and acknowledge– and learn from– our mistakes! It would be an honor to serve Winchester for another three years.
On the Mood & Churn
We need to rebuild much of the trust, mutual respect and civility that existed before the pandemic. Nerves are frayed and people are exasperated– I get it.
Some measure of change is always good. Too much is not. I could not have imagined three years years ago that today I would be working with an Interim Superintendent, Interim Finance Director, Interim Town Manager, four-fifths of a Select Board, and that two School Committee members would serve only one term in the midst of a public health crisis. Other senior educators have one foot out the door. Key committees like Capital and FinCom have similarly seen significant turnover and– with this– helpful perspective and institutional knowledge can be lost.
The longer I’ve served, the more direct I’ve become: If elected, I will be the best mentor I can possibly be to School Committee members (particularly newer ones) and will work hard to help develop strong working relationships between the School Committee and other boards, committees and commissions in Winchester. Before I first ran for office in 2010, I attended School Committee meetings (at Lynch) for a year and a half. I did this to prepare as best I possibly could to understand the work of the Committee, its role with district leadership and Town management, and to be as prepared as possible to hit the ground running on day one. In those early days, veteran members Sarah Swinger and Michael Schindelman were helpful to me with valuable perspectives, modeling great behavior both at and away from the School Committee table. Increasingly I reflect on their helpfulness to me as I’ve now become the senior member of the Committee.
I’m a 23-year Winchester resident and a transplanted Texan. I’m a hockey dad of two girls and an adult son at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. I’m in a medical marriage to an incredibly dedicated physician who was on the front lines of our COVID battle from day one and who has continued to provide great care to patients and support her own colleagues and her family in the face of our unpredictable pandemic.
My experience as a parent of three kids who either grew up in the Winchester Schools (including the Lynch preschool) or my youngest at McCall today helps me understand our students’ PK-12 growth. But it’s my experience on the School Committee and other key Town boards or committees that affords me a unique appreciation for how “Winchester works” and how it doesn’t. Beyond my role on the School Committee since 2010, I’m a veteran member of Town Meeting, Capital Planning, and the EFPBC where we’re making exciting progress towards the “New Lynch” Elementary School.!
I have a hunger for achieving big goals as a district with a corresponding understanding for how the railroad should run. Understanding basic duties, decisions and lanes of the School Committee are an essential element of high-functioning government. A similar understanding of the workings of other Winchester public bodies means a better chance at collaboration and coordination on major shared initiatives, investments and change.
My three amazing kids!