Dear Neighbor,

I’m an experienced, consensus-building advocate who’s worked with our school system and in City Hall to ensure Cambridge uses all its resources to deliver on its promise of an inclusive, high-quality public school education for all our city’s students.

Eighteen years ago I was a grieving widow who moved to Cambridge with my two young children, 3.5-years old and eight months. Through my children and the schools they attended, I built a powerful community of supportive friends that made Cambridge alive to me: its diversity, its cultural richness, its vibrant neighborhoods, and the advantages that Harvard, MIT and Kendall Square have to offer.

I also learned that while Cambridge has so many rich resources, not all families or all students benefit from Cambridge’s dynamism – its depth of services, support or opportunities.

Advocating for my own children – whose individual school experiences were very different – taught me how challenging it can be for parents to advocate for what their children need and deserve.

While on the School Committee, I worked hard to break down barriers to academic success. I created policy to have phonics taught to our emerging readers; I advocated for social and emotional supports for our vulnerable upper school students and I brought in financial aid counseling for our seniors going to college.

As a parent and educator, I know it’s not enough to rely on chance or parent advocacy to ensure student success. Instead, our school system must work with our families and students to make sure every child has the tools he or she needs to succeed. This requires asking the right questions and having the high expectations necessary to break down barriers to achievement and to put our city’s abundant resources and opportunities to their best use.

Too much is at stake to be complacent with our status quo of mixed results. Our mantra should be: “Successful Students Become Successful Adults.” We cannot afford to graduate our students into a world for which they are ill prepared.

I am running for Cambridge School Committee to use my experience and my commitment to achieve collaborative, common sense problem solving. Having voted to hire our new superintendent, I know our district has a leader determined to help all students achieve their potential. Working with him and the vision put forward in his strategic plan, I know we can transform our great ideas into great policy. And with your support, I know we can create a unified vision of excellence for every Cambridge school and for every Cambridge student.

Thank you for your support and #1 vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

Accomplishments

Accomplishments

In 2013, I was elected to the Cambridge School Committee advocating that every child deserves equal access to the opportunities needed to achieve their potential.

While serving, I stayed focused and committed to the issues and best practices I knew were most critical to successful student learning, and brought passion, collaboration and common sense solutions to the work I did every day.

  • I brought phonics back into the elementary classroom to make sure we meet the needs of all emerging readers.
  • I advocated for extra instruction for students not keeping pace, and for third grade proficiency as a benchmark for continued academic success.
  • I advocated for social and emotional support protocols and best practices for students K-12. As a result of my efforts, CPS now has a Teacher-in-Charge of social and emotional learning. I will be participating in a newly created SEL Advisory Board to oversee development and implementation of social and emotional best practices across our district.
  • I established a precedent to fund EnRoot, the CRLS program that mentors our immigrant students, helping them to successfully graduate from high school and college.
  • I helped bring UAspire to CRLS, providing every student with financial counseling before applying to college, including guidance on completing the critical FAFSA forms.
  • As chair of the Curriculum Sub-committee, I brought critical data (on curriculum alignment, assessments, intervention practices, teacher recruitment, and vocational education) to the School Committee for discussion and policy review.
  • I’m an educator and certified reading specialist: I’ve taught general education and special education students, and taught English as a second language to Russian students while living in Moscow.
  • For the past two years I have been a volunteer-mentor with Girls’ Media, a Tutoring Plus after school program for low-income middle school girls.
  • I’ve been on the Advisory Board of Mayor Simmons’ Girls GOLD program, for low-income middle school girls.
  • I was elected to join the CCTV Board and helped develop and launch its new Strategic Plan to enhance community engagement.
  • I completed my Masters in Journalism through Harvard University. My culminating capstone project was on education reform.
  • I currently work in Cambridge City Hall as aide to Councillor David Maher, who twice served as Mayor of Cambridge.
  • I serve as Vice Chair of the Ward 11 Committee and am an active member of CDCC.
  • I’m a widowed-single mom and proud parent of two great kids.