Why is Lauren Running?

In her own words…

When my older child entered kindergarten in the Andover Public Schools in 2014, I noticed that the questions fellow parents and neighbors were asking about the district were similar to the questions I regularly confronted in my work in higher education. For example…

“Why are we ranked where we’re ranked? What can we do about that?”
“Are our students learning what we want them to learn? How do we know?”

“How can we do more with less?”

After realizing that many of the issues people care about cross many levels of education, I became inspired to explore available data, learn more about APS, and seek out opportunities to get involved in my children’s school. I have had many rewarding experiences over the years, but always thought I could do more. A few years ago, it became apparent to me that School Committee might be where I could really do the most good, so I began attending or watching meetings and asking questions of our current School Committee. This fall, I finally decided to stop thinking about it and start running for it!

I am running because I am deeply invested in our schools being places of growth, connection, and pride.

As a data scientist, I believe that good decisions are the product of both thoughtful analytic strategy and effective communication to the community. There is a wealth of information available, but we need to gather it in a timely fashion, ask relevant questions of the data, and present that data to the public in a clear and straightforward way. As a School Committee member, I will prioritize smart analytics and transparent communication so that we can make optimal decisions.

As a former clinician, I value the experience of sitting down face-to-face and talking through issues. I enjoy getting to know people and learning about what matters to them most. While we may not always agree on all topics, I can promise that if you reach out, I will listen empathically, respectfully, and constructively. I will serve as a listening ear, will work collaboratively across diverse groups, and will be accessible, inclusive, and welcoming.

Along those same lines, I think that there is great opportunity in the partnership between parents and the work of the School Committee. Although anyone can provide feedback through the many public channels, I believe parent representation on task forces and working groups is important and worth advocating for. We feel pride in our community when we are able to proactively participate in it!

Finally, as a parent of a current first grader, I am invested in a long-term vision for our district. We have many big decisions to make in the coming years; our choices must be sustainable, cost-effective, and right the first time. Whether it be new school facilities, curriculum changes, or hiring a new superintendent, things we do now will have downstream effects. It is up to us to make sure these effects are positive. Responsibly and thoughtfully investing the time, energy, and money to ensure that we are making the right decisions is worth it every time.

I am eager to put my skill set to good use for the betterment of our schools and our community. I hope you will support my candidacy and vote for me on June 9.