Marlborough candidate profiles: Denise Ryan – School Committee


Marlborough candidate profiles: Denise Ryan – School Committee
Denise Ryan is running for reelection to the Marlborough School Committee.

MARLBOROUGH – It’s election season in Marlborough. 

As such, city voters will soon head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 2 to decide a handful of contested races.

Incumbent Mayor Arthur Vigeant is seeking another term. He’s running against David Garceau in a rematch of the 2019 election. 

Incumbent School Committee members Michelle Bodin-Hettinger, Denise Ryan and Earl Geary are running alongside Maureen Brennan in a four-way race for three seats on the committee. 

Ward 4 City Councilor Robert Tunnera is also running for re-election. He is being challenged by Teona Brown.

There are no other contested City Council races as each of Marlborough’s other councilors are running for re-election unopposed.

The Community Advocate reached out to all candidates in contested races, inviting them to make a candidate statement and answer a handful of questions. 

Ryan’s statement and answers can be viewed below…

See responses from other candidates…

Please provide a statement introducing yourself to voters.

My husband Michael and I first moved to Marlborough in 2001 and moved to our current home in 2004. I am a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, having grown up in the town of Norwood.  Michael and I have been married for 21 years and have four children.  Our oldest son, Harrison graduated from Marlborough High School in 2020, our son Anderson is a sophomore, and our daughters attend Whitcomb School, Allison is in 8th grade and Emerson is in 7th grade.  I graduated from Endicott College with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.  After working in the furniture and interior design business for over twenty years, I left that position in 2013 to spend more time with my family.  In 2014 I was elected to serve as a member of the Marlborough School Committee. During that time, I have also been working as a substitute teacher in the Sudbury and Southborough elementary schools.  Last year I returned to work full time at an elementary school in Weston as a full time building based substitute teacher.  Elementary education has become a passion of mine.  I was recently accepted into the Endicott College School of Education, and this fall I have begun taking courses towards my master’s degree in elementary education.  After all, we are never too old to continue learning!

Q1: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges/issues/concerns currently facing the Marlborough Public Schools?

I believe our school district is headed in a positive direction. In my opinion, the biggest challenge currently facing our district is equity among students.  Equity is every student getting what they need in order to be successful. We need to be mindful of addressing the learning needs of all students at every grade level, at every level of learning.  Identifying the needs of all learners including low learners, English Language Learners as well as our high achieving learners and those in the middle.  All students need to be challenged and engaged in learning and we need to be setting high expectations for all. Equity in the classroom is a process and not an immediate result.  It is an ongoing process of reforming practices, policies, and procedures at the school and district level to support academic fairness and inclusion to ensure that every child has the resources, teachers, interventions, and supports they need to be successful.  Promoting equity can have a whole host of benefits for every student.

Early education has the power to shape a child’s future.  Addressing barriers at an early age is key to students succeeding in school. I’m so proud that our district will be able to offer tuition free preschool and we will be growing our preschool over the next couple of years.  This will provide an amazing opportunity for our students and their families and will give more students the opportunity to succeed regardless of their economic status.

Q2: What are your goals for your term if elected/re-elected?

If re-elected, my goal is to continue to foster open communication.  I welcome feedback from parents and members of the community.  As a member of the School Committee for the last eight years, we have worked collaboratively as a team to continue to move the district forward.  As a member of the negotiations subcommittee, we have successfully negotiated with all seven unions in a positive and collaborative way and have come to fair agreements.  I’m most proud of my time serving on the New School Building Committee in which we were able to build what is now the Goodnow Brothers Elementary School.  I will continue to advocate for our school buildings and facilities to be maintained and updated to accommodate the growing needs of our district.

Q3: Is there anything else you would like to share with community members?

Not only have I been an active parent and volunteer in my children’s schools, but I am also an active member of the Marlborough community.  I served as the Kane School PTO Co-President from 2011-2014 and was the book fair chair from 2013-2020.  I have been a member of the GFWC Marlborough Junior Woman’s Club for the last 14 years and am the current treasurer and serve on the executive board. I have participated in numerous community events that help people in Marlborough and the surrounding areas including the MetroWest Princess Boutique (an event providing prom dresses and accessories to girls who may not be able to afford them), 9/11 Remembrance Baskets to our first responders and delivering Easter Baskets to children in our community. I am also the treasurer of my son’s boy scout troop and have been the “cookie mom” for my daughter’s girl scout troop for the last 6 years. I have a strong commitment to my community and I have proven that I will put in the time and effort it takes to get any job done.  Please reach out if you have any questions.  I would appreciate your vote for re-election to the Marlborough School Committee.