Letter to the editor: Catherine Mirick will run for re-election to School Committee

To the editor:

I am excited to announce that I am running for re-election to the Wellesley School Committee. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Town of Wellesley over the last three years and I ask for your vote so that I can continue that service for another term.

Experience is crucial to the success of any board—and the School Committee is no exception. In my three years on the board much has been accomplished, but there is still work to do on many fronts. I am excited for the opportunity to put my institutional knowledge to work as we finalize our next strategic plan, complete our school building projects, and continue to focus on excellent education for all Wellesley students.

Since my election in 2020, it’s been a busy three years in public education. No one could have imagined the effect of COVID-19 when I last threw my hat in the ring, but as we know, it has had a profound effect on education—both during the pandemic and in this continuing recovery stage. During that time, I worked hand in hand with the Wellesley Board of Health to get students safely back in school as soon as possible. Coming out of the pandemic, we continue to work towards closing learning gaps and increasing student achievement.

I served as chair of the Committee last school year and led it through challenging community discussions around bullying, Hunnewell swing space, communications, and academic excellence. I presented multiple times at Town Meeting, facilitated School Committee conversations and talked with parents from across the district. I am a trusted advocate for parents and the schools and my collaborative approach creates space for different viewpoints, tough questions and then coming together to make difficult decisions. It’s crucial that we can disagree and then after a decision is made, move forward as a team.

The long awaited elementary school building projects are underway with overwhelming townwide support in a debt exclusion vote in December 2021. As the School Committee liaison for the Hunnewell project, I am involved in the day to day detailed work of a major construction project. Balancing budgets, schedules and educational programming needs is an ongoing challenge. No other School Committee members or candidates have that crucial Wellesley School building experience. It is exciting to see the work I’ve put in is helping to keep both schools progressing towards an on-time opening in 2024.

I’ve also enjoyed working on sustainability issues as a member of both the Mobility Committee and the Climate Action Committee. We’ve completed townwide plans for Sustainable Mobility and Climate Action and are now working towards accomplishing the strategies outlined in each of those. The world’s climate crisis means that we need to re-double these efforts in the years to come.

Working with parents, educators, and across town boards has been a learning experience that has set me up to be an even more effective member of the Committee in my second term.

Please reach out if you’d like to talk about your thoughts and concerns regarding Wellesley Public Schools. I’d love to hear from you.

I humbly ask for your vote on March 7th.

Catherine Mirick
Kingsbury Street
Wellesley, MA 02481