John Rice and Ellen Gibson Statement Supporting Kathy Marchi

We have known and worked with Kathy Marchi for many years, and are excited for her to be elected to the School Committee. A candidate’s experience, not just their campaign promises, are particularly important in deciding who should be on the School Committee.  Kathy is the mother of two Newton Public School students, but it is her commitment to Newton’s youth and families that will make her such a wonderful and effective School Committee member.

We have both been elected to serve Newton, and have spent most of our lives dedicated to serving Newton as volunteers and elected officials. We have seen first-hand what it takes to serve our community, including the difference between making promises and being able to deliver.  Kathy has the unique experience, commitment and perspective to be an exceptional School Committee member.

We worked closely with Kathy when she led The Newton Partnership, a community organization formed to collaborate with other Newton organizations to coordinate free healthcare, fitness and support programs for Newton’s youth and families. Kathy worked to create out-of-school programs for Newton’s youth during after school, evenings and vacations and offered kids a variety of activities from juggling to floor hockey. Equally as important, her programs provided children with a place to make friends and build trusting connections with adults. Kathy worked through difficult issues, collaborated with different organizations, and brought a group to consensus to ensure goals were accomplished and programs were started.

Kathy also closely collaborated with several other Newton organizations to develop effective out-of-school programs including the Boys and Girls Club of Newton, Nonantum Boxing Club and Hyde Community Center.  Kathy’s drive and commitment to serve the needs of Newton’s youth and families have made her an important part of our Newton community.

Kathy has been a very effective leader in several different organizations, and she has made a real difference in the lives of so many young Newton residents and families. She knows how to get things done, and she does it so very well.

Kathy has also demonstrated a tireless commitment to helping Newton families in need.  Kathy is a Board member of the Centre Street Food Pantry where she works to support families by providing nutritious food in a dignified and sensitive environment. She is a certified suicide prevention instructor and helped train parents and other members of the community on what to do when a young person is in crisis. She has also volunteered with Family Reach, which provides financial help to families fighting cancer.

Kathy’s commitment to educating the whole child recently brought her to the Newton Public Schools where she worked in the Social Emotional Learning Department. Kathy successfully broadened the SEL Department’s work by overseeing workshops and programs for parents, caregivers and afterschool program staff. This was another example of Kathy working effectively with different people and organizations to improve programs and results.

Kathy’s experience and skills are what the School Committee needs.  Kathy has demonstrated the effectiveness to work with others to benefit Newton youth. Kathy’s leadership of The Newton Partnership brought community agencies, local nonprofits and various youth-serving organizations together and resulted in new and sustained collaborations.  Very few candidates for any Newton office have the experience and community knowledge that Kathy will bring to the School Committee.

When new issues arise, Kathy is well equipped to tackle them. Kathy is inquisitive, caring, and pragmatic. She listens carefully, asks thoughtful questions, does her homework, and reaches a sound and well-balanced conclusion. She cares deeply about Newton’s youth, is pragmatic and able to ensure programs are effective and reach the intended audience.  Kathy is an independent thinker and will be an independent voice on the school committee.

Finally, Kathy will be a voice for all of Newton.  Kathy’s two children have been NPS students, with one child following a traditional path and the other a non-traditional path. Kathy understands that each child has their own learning style and that we must help every child to grow socially, emotionally and academically.  Kathy’s experience with the school district’s Social Emotional Learning Department and The Newton Partnership demonstrates that she can identify city-wide concerns and develop programs for youth across the city.   She is an independent thinker who will represent all of Newton.

Please consider carefully each candidate’s experience and commitment.  Our experience with Kathy Marchi leads us to strongly support her as an excellent addition to the School Committee.  We urge you to support Kathy Marchi for School Committee from Ward 1 (all Newton can vote for Kathy) on November 7th.