NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH – Northborough and Southborough are gearing up for their 2021 municipal elections on May 11. As voters get set to head to the polls, the Community Advocate has zeroed in on contested races for prominent bodies like Board of Selectmen and School Committee.
The Community Advocate reached out to candidates who filed paperwork to appear on their town’s ballot and asked them to submit a personal statement as well as answers to three specific questions.
See those biographies and read extended questions and answers from Northborough/Southborough Regional School Committee Candidate Karen Ares here…
And see profiles of other candidates…
My name is Karen Ares, candidate for Regional School Committee. I have been serving on this committee since June 2020, and have a wealth of knowledge in public education, having been a high school teacher for 7 years and a district administrator in a regional school district for 5 years. As a district administrator, I regularly attended School Committee meetings and presented curriculum and budget updates. I am the parent of two Algonquin students, and familiar with issues that teachers face in the classroom today. I am passionate about creating learning opportunities that are equitable for all children.
What do you see as the most important issue(s) facing the Northborough/Southborough Public Schools today?
First and foremost is the coronavirus pandemic. It is wonderful to see students heading back to the classroom- we need to keep them there. We have all learned how valuable school is to our children, how our students learn best, and how they can struggle. I sincerely hope we can continue to grow our classrooms with increased flexibility and not return to “normal” as usual. Second- equity: this includes so many things: racial equity, gender equity, financial equity, and equity amongst learning opportunities for students of all abilities. Lastly, budget is always a concern for the town and schools. Our town is a desirable place to live, especially for families, because of the stellar reputation of our schools. It is part of our job on the School Committee to help bring forth budgets that allow for continued growth but in a fiscally responsible manner.
COVID-19 has uniquely impacted school systems and members of the school community. How would you approach the ongoing questions and decisions any school committee member will have to make as the vaccine rollout and school reopening process continues?
What a year for our teachers, administrators and school staff! My sincere thanks and appreciation for all they have done and continue to do to keep our students safe. If we have learned anything in the last year, it is certainly how much we rely on our schools. As a school committee member this past year and continuing on as we strive through the pandemic, we need to rely on our administrators and advice from the medical team to guide us properly. They continue to think out of the box and strategize to be sure students are safe. The students’ safety is the top priority and I will continue to support the administration with whatever needs necessary to keep children in the classroom.
Is there anything else you want voters to know about you as a candidate?
I moved to Northborough with my husband and then 6-month-old daughter 18 years ago. We knew nobody in town. Since then, through school, town sports, Boy Scouts and various other activities, we have come to know many wonderful people, many of whom will be friends to last a lifetime. I have volunteered my time for many things throughout these years: soccer coach, elementary school council, Boy Scout merit badge counselor and wreath sale coordinator, workshop presenter at the Northborough Junior Women’s Club STEM Summit for girls, and Town Common Committee member. I couldn’t be happier with our decision to move here and raise our family in Northborough. Having served only one year on the School Committee (and in COVID as well), I feel there is much more work that I can do, and my experience is an asset to our team. I would sincerely appreciate your vote on May 11th.