School Council Elections

The election is open from Tuesday May 2 to Thursday May 11 at noon. Please vote for up three School Council parent/guardian representatives. The Newton North School Council works with and advises the Principal on budget, school improvement plans, and other issues of general interest. Parent/guardian members are expected to attend a monthly one-and-a half-hour meeting. The term of office is three years. For a full description of School Council purpose and guidelines click here. There are currently three openings for School Council (2 candidates will serve as full council members and 1 will serve as an alternate). There are 13 candidates for you to vote for. All of the candidates submitted brief statements describing their interest and experience (below).  Please read the candidate statements and then click on the “Click to Vote” button AT THE BOTTOM OF THESE STATEMENTS. Please vote for no more than three candidates. The two candidates receiving the most votes will serve as full members of the School Council while the third will be appointed an alternate member. To ensure a valid vote, you will be asked for your name, email address, name of student, and grade level when you vote. This information will NOT be made available to any of the candidates and will be deleted after the tallies have been completed. 

Candidates: (Listed alphabetically)

Kristen Anderson Twenty five years ago, I moved to Newton so that my two daughters could attend the Newton Public Schools. I wanted them to experience a learning community that values and celebrates academic excellence, diversity, and making sure that each student gets what they need to succeed in life.  That is exactly what my two daughters have received from tremendous educators and peer students at Burr Elementary, Day Middle, and Newton North. My oldest daughter is now a successful college student and athlete; my youngest daughter is loving life in her first year at Newton North. I have been lucky enough to be a joyful, lifelong educator (10 years teaching math in Wayland Public Schools; 10 years as a school principal in Brookline Public Schools and at the Rashi School; and, for the last ten years, as Assistant Superintendent for Concord Public Schools).  I bring expertise in most facets of the workings of schools and am happy to help in any way that is useful. I believe in the power of a team of committed, hardworking people to make a difference for our children and our community. Karen Carroll Bennett My 3 children attended Franklin Elementary, Day Middle School, and NNHS. I’d like to serve on School Council (SC) because it’s an effective way to stay involved, learn more, and support our schools. I previously served on the FA Day School Council for 4-5 years. I’d bring the following interests and qualities to the SC: pragmatism, analytical thinking, the ability to get this done, and compassion. The background, skills and expertise that I bring to this role include the following: I presently serve on the board of NSF and I am also a Higher Ed administrator/coach/strategist. Henna Bhatt My two children have attended Horace Mann Elementary and Day Middle School. I have been fortunate enough to benefit from the hard work and dedication of NPS staff and parent volunteers and now I am eager to give back to the NPS community by joining the school council. With an engineering & management educational background, I have a deep appreciation for the opportunities that education can provide to the students in our community. I will be committed to understanding what we are trying to accomplish and why, how it supports the students, and school goals, and whether it is inclusive of all. I am confident that I can make a meaningful contribution to the projects for school improvement plans by volunteering as a parent member of the school council. Christine Dutt I want to support educators and help NNHS continue to improve as a School Council member. My volunteer experiences have shown me the importance of communication and helped me make connections with parents across Newton. I am the current parent co-chair of the Day School Council and I previously served on Burr School Council. At PTO Council, I am the Secondary Schools Representative and previously served as Equity Representative and Co-president. At Burr, I served as PTO Co-president and Annual Appeal Chair. My ninth grader attended Burr and Day. Her sister attended Burr and is a 6th grader at Day. Sana Fadel I am a mother of three students in Horace Mann, FA Day and NNHS.  Between my three children, I will be a NNHS parent continuously from Fall 2020 to Spring 2031.  I have a strong incentive to see NNHS’s policies and educational initiatives succeed in the long term so that both my current high schooler and my youngest thrive while at NNHS.  I am impressed by the school’s engagement of students and providing the opportunities for them to explore their goals and identities. Professionally, I am a policy advocate and can offer analysis and my advocacy skills on the council. Joshua Greene I am a parent of a 10th grader (NNHS/Day/Cabot), 7th grader (Day/Cabot), 5th grader (Cabot), and will have a North student through 2025-26. With experience in teaching math at elementary and high school levels, I understand the importance of creating an engaging learning environment. Serving on educational program boards, such as PROMYS and CMC, I developed advisory skills to support the school leadership. My background in quantitative finance provides budget and data analysis skills which will be valuable to the School Council’s deliberations. I have a passion for education, and my diverse experience can contribute to the school’s ongoing success. Jacob Groshek I am the parent of a rising junior who attended Cabot and Day.  I have been a part of the Newton community for 7 years, and I have been involved in similar committees in the past.  I always found them engaging and vital to best serve the community of learners.  I am a community builder, and as the Founder and President of two non-profit organizations based in Newton, including the Institute for Representation in Sports and Media (see – here I would be an open mind and a willingness to collaborate and build cohesion.  I have a PhD in Communication and earned tenure at Boston University.  I have extensive data analysis skills as well as social media analytics expertise.  That said, I am first and foremost a listener. Allison Kessler I’ve been an active volunteer over the years at Peirce, FA Day and North. Where I contributed most is my membership on the Day School Council for over four years where I still serve. I am currently a Class of 2024 & 2026 Parent Liaison. Among our responsibilities, this year we planned the back to school event for the freshmen, and we’re supporting the class officers in what will hopefully be a memorable junior semi-formal. Where I’ll truly contribute to the Council is my professional background as a business process and strategy consultant. I’d like to help as we head in to a new direction with our new superintendent. Bringing my professional experience and my parent experience with the school system has brought a unique perspective at FA Day and I know could help support North during this time of transition. I’m the parent of a junior and I’ll have many more years at North with my freshman and middle schooler. I’ll be here to see our hard work come to fruition. I’d appreciate this opportunity to be part of what is sure to be an exciting future for our school. Amy Knapp I am interested in serving on the NN School Council as a way to give back and be more connected to the Newton school community in which my two children have had positive experiences. My daughter will be a senior and my son will be a freshman during the 2023-24 school year; they attended Burr Elementary and Day Middle School. As a Professor of Biology for over 11 years, I worked towards creating a more inclusive and equitable classroom and campus culture while maintaining high academic standards. I look forward to bringing these values and this knowledge to deliberations. Alison Lobron My name is Alison Lobron.  I have two children at NNHS.  They attended NECP, Franklin and Day. I’ve been volunteering in NPS since 2011.  I’ve been a PTO Chair, room parent, chair of UOD, School Council member and SEPAC liaison.  I also have relevant skills from my time as an elementary school teacher, educational consultant/researcher and synagogue inclusion coordinator. NNHS currently faces many challenges that are putting tremendous strain on educators and administrators:  budget cuts, right wing attacks, and increased student needs.   I want to be of service to the school community at this critical time. Elana November I have a 10th grader and 8th grader at Day.  My professional expertise and volunteer experience prepare me well for an active, informed, collaborative role on the School Council As a School & Clinical Psychologist, I recognize the complexity of public-school systems & understand deeply what our teens are experiencing academically, emotionally, systemically, developmentally, and socially. As founding chair of Cabot FORJ, co-chair of Cabot Social Action committee, and co-chair of Day FORJ, I believe in a broad definition of excellence that includes cross-cultural competence, social-emotional awareness, and opportunity and equity for all students to achieve academically, athletically, artistically, vocationally, and interpersonally. Kara Peterson I am interested in joining the Newton North School Council. I have two sons in the Newton schools (8th at Bigelow and 10th at North) and both are thriving thanks to our community’s holistic approach to education. I want to do my part to promote and protect NNHS priorities, families, and staff as we move into some potentially difficult times ahead. My expertise is in communications, strategic planning, and messaging (especially around social issues and STEM). I am firmly committed to NPS values and believe that DEI initiatives contribute to academic excellence. Catherine Dun Rappaport My name is Catherine Dun Rappaport, and I am pleased to be considered for the NNHS School Council. I have three children, all of whom have attended Cabot Elementary School and Day Middle School. My son graduated from Newton North. My middle daughter is a sophomore, and my younger daughter will start NNHS in 2024. I am interested in serving on the School Council because I am passionate about social justice and equity in education.  I have served on the Cabot School Council and look forward to re-engaging with the school community. I have an array of professional experiences that I think are germane to serving on the School Council. I have spent the entirety of my 20+ year career leading mission-driven organizations focused on poverty alleviation, socially responsible investment, workforce development, and education.