Northborough Candidate Statement – Regional School Committee – Kathleen Howland (Incumbent)

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Northborough Candidate Statement – Regional School Committee – Kathleen Howland (Incumbent)
Kathleen Howland

Why are you running? 

I went to the Women’s March 6 years ago and we were all, 100,000 of us on the Boston Common, encouraged to do something. I never thought I would run for public office but in that moment, I felt the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I am still intrigued six years later by the requirements of the job- to oversee and approve budgets, to evaluate the superintendent and approve policies. In this context, I get to speak to my strengths which include stress biology, positive psychology, the value of the arts and human growth and development. As a college professor, I am able to observe generational patterns of engagement. In an age where Siri can answer most questions for us, I have to question the value of memorization versus deductive reasoning. How do we teach students subjects that advance students’ abilities to identify problems, generate possible responses to the problem and evaluate the efficacy of the chosen solution.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Regional School Committee in order of importance?

psychological well-being, managing changes in enrollment, compensation for learning and development gaps post-Covid

How well do you think Algonquin Regional High School addresses the current education needs of Northborough? Please explain your answer.

I am very pleased with the vision that Greg Martineau has for the school district and support his sensibilities and approaches that are inclusive, with a thoughtful eye to both student achievement and well-being

Looking to the future, what steps should Algonquin take to secure the educational needs of 2030?

Secure the well-being of each child. Faculty and staff need to create meaningful relationships with students and recognize them for their individual strengths and challenges. Their challenges should to be cultivated and mentored with heartfelt consideration self-esteem development and confidence with the content and themselves.

What role do you see the School Committee and Algonquin playing in sustainability initiatives?

I am pleased that many of the district’s properties are being considered for or are underway with solar panels. I also think nascent conversations about plantings that would benefit the children and utilize open land are encouraging in the climate change challenges at our doorstop. I do feel we can do more and will speak to it.

What is your relevant experience to serve on the Regional School Committee?

I am a college professor with a research doctorate in cognition. I have long studied and currently teach music and cognition at Berklee College. I specialize in the study of biology that underlies growth and development with devotion to executive functioning and emotional self-regulation. I am a music therapist and speech-language pathologist and speak nationally and internationally on these topics.

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