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My name is Tamika Olszewski and I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for the open Ward 4 School Committee seat in 2019.

I am the mother of twins in third grade at Burr Elementary and the wife of my college sweetheart, Al, for over 13 years. We moved to Newton in pursuit of an excellent education for our children and a welcoming community for our family.

An actively involved parent leader, I am a Burr PTO Board Member, Vice Chair of the Burr School Council, a Commissioner on the Human Rights Commission and a Board Member of FORJ, Families Organizing for Racial Justice. An attorney by profession, I feel I have a lot to offer as a member of the Newton School Committee where I would ensure that all students capitalize on Newton’s promise of both excellence and equity in their education.

I will welcome robust efforts to collaborate with members of the parent community and to support students in high level achievement through strong academic curriculum and a wide breadth of programming. In facing challenges such as launching later high school start time, I would ensure that we navigate and respect a tight financial budget. I understand that reasonable tradeoffs will be necessary. I would work to seek input from elementary and middle school parents and ensure that all members of our community are effectively seen as valued partners whenever we implement changes. I am also committed to helping our schools determine a pathway for funding the next elementary school renovations, and develop a targeted plan for closing the achievement gap. I have the passion, the drive, and the proven track record of commitment to our schools to serve Newton well as a member of the School Committee.

Over the course of the next year, I will continue to meet with, learn and seek advice from many of you. It has been a privilege to start that journey and I would be honored to have your support and assistance. Please visit my website tamika4schools.com for more information, to share with me your vision for the future of our schools and to learn how you can help.