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.