Hudson candidate statements: Molly MacKenzie – School Committee

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Molly MacKenzie is running for a seat on the School Committee. (Submitted photo)

HUDSON – Hudson is gearing up for its 2021 municipal elections on May 10. 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 Hudson School Committee Candidate Molly MacKenzie here…

And see profiles of other candidates…

PERSONAL BIO

I am an administrative assistant at a public library, a student of journalism and social justice, and a single mother. My child motivates me to do better. That means speaking up, organizing, and taking action to create an environment that is not only accepting of difference but creates a sense of security, wellbeing, and belonging. As a School Committee member, I would be committed to making sure our policies seek to achieve equity and that the people in charge of implementation are accountable to the community.    

QUESTIONS

What do you see as the most important issue(s) facing the Hudson Public Schools today?

Racial Inequity—it shows up in the lack of diversity in staffing and the disparities in student discipline.

Drug abuse—it shows up in regional surveys about teen alcohol and drug use.

The achievement gap— Hudson’s English Language Learners, economically distressed, and high needs students are underperforming compared to their peers.

Communication, Clarity, & Community—this is a larger systemic problem that the HPS and Town need to collaborate on. We are living in a moment where conversations often turn toxic quickly. We must realize that we are part of the same community, that solutions require us to work together. We all have different life experiences and have a unique perspective to bring to the table. The loudest voices are not always right; very often it is the whispers that hold the most wisdom. As a leader, I would create safe spaces for everyone to listen and be heard.

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?

COVID has presented unprecedented challenges. Now more than ever, community is so important. Our public institutions and local officials have a responsibility to not only clearly communicate with students and parents but to call them in. Community members should be encouraged to have a voice in the School Committee’s decision making.

Being a single parent, multilingual, and a lifelong learner I know how to be compassionate, decisive, creative, and understanding. I would respond to questions from the community and also solicit them; make it easier for community members to give feedback—both anonymously as well as face to face (or computer screen to computer screen). When responding I would do so with an open mind and an open heart. This past year has been tumultuous, upturning all of our lives, we could all use a little more grace—our children, our educators, our parents, and our School Committee members.

Is there anything else you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

My experiences have equipped me with the skills needed to make an effective School Committee member. I have worked in a public library, a city clerk’s office, restaurants, and a farm. Therefore I know how to balance a large municipal budget, how local politics function and impact the community, how to work as a team in a chaotic environment, and how to plant seeds and nurture them until they bear fruit. It is ok to say “I don’t know.” Asking for help is a strength. I am fluent in Haitian Creole and though I know how difficult it is to communicate with a language barrier, I know that barrier can be overcome when people are kind, patient, and committed to your success. As a young mother to a kindergartener, I am motivated to make sure our school system becomes the best it can be for all of Hudson’s youth.