Background & Experience
Design & Construction is my wheelhouse. As an undergrad architecture student at Rice University, I interned at a small Houston architecture firm that specialized in K-12 education programming and design. This was a great way to cut my teeth in the profession (and pay the bills). After grad school I changed direction, going into healthcare design and construction. Though more complicated and with more "end users" than schools, I have been able to apply years of experience in programming, planning and design of complex institutional facilities into the space and physical plant needs of our district.
In 2009 (before on School Committee) I converted original blueprints of Muraco Elementary School into AutoCAD files and-- with a small group of creative parents--developed a space renovation plan for Muraco that picked up two new classrooms, school psychologist office, and relocated the main office to the front of the building with direct views to the main entry points of the school. Superintendent McAlduff and School Committee were supportive of the plan and the work was completed over the summer!
This was just the beginning of many years of direct involvement and leadership on district facility needs and initiatives, including Vinson-Owen Elementary (2010-2013), Winchester High School (2015-2018), District 10-Year Facilities Master Plan (2017), MSBA SOIs for Muraco & Lynch reconstruction (2017, 2018, 2019), McCall Expansion - Phases I & II, and today's current Lynch Replacement Project, to name a few. Though I love the space, time and budget challenges of our many projects, it's only a part of what we do at the School Committee table (see below).
Creating Muraco classrooms - Summer 2009
Strategic Visioning & Policy Making are essential roles of the School Committee, usually in partnership with the Superintendent and Leadership Team. To be the best contributor I could be, I completed an Education Policy Fellowship program at Northeastern in 2011. This was a helpful year of growth for me, particularly working with peers at the administrative level in public school districts, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, charter schools, think tanks, and union leaders in both urban and suburban school districts.
School Committees have to develop district budgets. Okay, the Superintendent shoulders much of this early on in the Fall, but School Committee members do familiarize themselves with the wants and needs of departments and-- if we are doing our job-- challenge the status quo. Both in my role as a former corporate finance board member and my current service on Winchester's Audit Advisory Committee, I understand the value of our precious tax dollars and the importance of having a broad view of the Town's finances. Winchester's school budget is the largest slice of the pie, but understanding the needs of Police, Fire, DPW and others is an essential point of view with which to develop our share of funding with FinCom and Town Meeting each year.
Big ideas take work, usually money, and often partnership. We often have to lobby hard for important investments in our students and teachers. Some of these initiatives are district-led while others are public-private partnerships. On the district side, I'm most proud of our developing and funding a true All Day Kindergarten program (which included much work with and support of the Finance Committee) and finally expanding World Language down to 6th grade from 7th. On the partnership front, WFEE's PowerED UP! venture brought transformative wireless access, software, training and end user devices to support our growing needs in online education and collaboration as well as BYOD initiatives. The Winchester Sports Foundation similarly helped bridge a structural deficit in athletics funding which is something we need to watch carefully with time as WPS continues to provide the largest array of sports options in the Middlesex League.
Policy Fellow - Northeastern University, Institute for Educational Leadership - 2011
Graduate degree in Architecture - Rice University, 1995
Undergraduate degree in Architecture, Art and Art History - Rice University, 1993
School Committee: 2010-present
Town Meeting Member: 2008-present
Capital Planning Committee: 2014-2018, 2019-present
Educational Facilities Building and Planning Committee: 2010-2014, 2021-present
Audit Advisory Committee: 2012-present
Led Superintendent search process as: 2014-2015 (as School Committee Chair)
Co-authored Lynch and Muraco replacement Statements of Interest to MSBA: 2017, 2018, 2019
McCall Expansion Project Phase I & II Working Group: 2017-2018
Winchester Public Schools Facilities Master Plan Working Group: 2016-2017
Oversight of new Lynch design: 2021-present (as EFPBC member)
Oversight of new WHS Feasibility Study: 2012-2014 (as EFPBC member)
Oversight of new Vinson-Owen design: 2010-2012 (as EFPBC member)
Conceptual and Schematic Design for Muraco reconfiguration and expansion: 2009-2010
Developed district ADA transition plan rubrics and priorities for funding: 2012-13
Created websites for major school/Town initiatives including
McCall Expansion Project - tinyurl.com/mccallexpansionproject
2019 Operating Override - tinyurl.com/decision01890
Lynch Replacement Project - www.lynch2025.com