Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is an honor to be on the ballot in hopes of serving each of you in elected office!
I am running for the Ward 1 School Committee seat because I have the commitment, experience and perspective to be an effective School Committee member and to help make Newton schools even better than they are today. My years living Newton as an NPS parent, combined with my professional experience at The Newton Partnership and with social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, give me the ability to focus on some of our key priorities while working collaboratively with my colleagues on the School Committee to move forward.
I think of myself as inquisitive, caring, pragmatic, direct, and focused. I seek to listen and learn before weighing in. I value the opinions and insights of others. I recognize that in a large and complex school system that teaches students with a very wide range of needs, our job is to make often-difficult trade-offs in the most thoughtful, sensitive, effective, and compassionate manner. An effective School Committee member must be comfortable making decisions involving difficult trade-offs, and I am eager and prepared to take this on.
This approach and these insights are what I have learned over years as a collaborator in my professional work, and as a leader, board member, and activist in many volunteer settings in Newton and beyond.
My key priorities are relevant in ensuring that every Newton student has the best chance for success:
- Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Cultural Competency – Newton is a leader in SEL across Massachusetts. SEL skills are the foundation for the academic, social and emotional success of all students. The short- and long-term benefits are well-established. In addition, we are a diverse city so program growth around cultural competency is vital. I believe that the combination of these two aspects is where educational innovation is heading and I want to help Newton continue to lead the way.
- Full Day Kindergarten & After-School Opportunities for All Students – I support shifting our kindergarten model to a full day program. Early education including pre-school programs, as well as access to high quality after-school programs for every student, help prepare our students for the upcoming challenges of school and life.
- Fiscal Oversight – In this era of budget constraints we must make thoughtful and often difficult decisions around trade-offs to continue to build a top-quality school system even when we have financial constraints. Funding for lower class size, SEL and our early education supports is critical.
11 years ago my family did what many of you did — we came to Newton so that our children could grow up within this outstanding school system. Our daughter and son each have very different needs and learning styles, and each received an excellent education. We have called Lincoln-Eliot Elementary, Bigelow and Day Middle Schools, and Newton North High School our homes. We are so grateful for the community and support we’ve experienced, and my hope is that as a School Committee member I will help pay forward what we’ve received.
I graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration, and Allegheny College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Most recently I worked in the Newton Public Schools’ SEL Department, where I engaged Newton residents and youth agency staff in social-emotional learning skills and trained community members in Youth Mental Health First Aid. I’ve also been the Director of The Newton Partnership, a grant funded collaboration providing health, fitness and support programs to Newton youth and their families. I am currently the Director of Alumni Relations at the Sloan School of Business at MIT.
My skill set has allowed me to be effective in a host of Newton volunteer positions:
- Chair, Newton Cares Youth Sub-Committee
- Adult Advisor, Newton Youth Commission
- Director, Newton Child Care Scholarship Fund
- Board Member, Centre Street Food Pantry
- Community Trainer, QPR: suicide prevention
- President, Newton North’s Tiger Booster Club
- Co-Chair, Day at Night Auction
- Chair, Touch a Truck Event
- Active PTO, school and community volunteer
My professional and volunteer experience interweaves broad leadership and policy positions with the warmth of engaging individually with others. Now I am ready to serve Newton students in the next obvious role, as your School Committee member from Ward 1. I would be grateful for your vote on November 7th. School Committee members are elected at-large so all Newton Voters can vote.
It will be great to hear from you!
Please call me at 917-922-6516
Email me at [email protected]
Connect with me on Facebook at Kathy Marchi for School Committee
With respect and thanks,