Editor’s Note: In accordance with SOURCE Election Policy, each candidate is permitted to submit an advertisement in their own words for the election. The election for the town of Natick will take place on March 29.
NATICK – I’m Elise Gorseth and I’m running for a seat on the Natick school committee.
I care deeply about our public schools and want to do my part to make them the best they can be. Ours is a first generation American family. I grew up in Canada and my husband Haris is from the former Yugoslavia – we met while working in the same local company. We moved to Natick just as our triplet daughters started kindergarten and now they are in sixth grade. I work as a drug safety scientist and feel lucky to call Natick home.
I have had the privilege of volunteering in many capacities for our city and our schools. I am currently a member of the Municipal Assembly and, until recently, was Co-Chair of the Natick Special Education Parent Advisory Committee. I served on the Lilja School Board and the Lilja School Principal’s Interview Committee. In 2017, I was selected to represent Natick at Senator Spilka’s Annual Social and Emotional Learning Forum.
Over the past eight years, I have learned a great deal about how our schools operate and the budget and revenue challenges that Natick faces. I have come to appreciate the crucial role of the school committee in setting educational goals and expectations for our schools and ensuring that they are reflected in both the strategic plan and the budget of the district.
I bring the skills and experience of a scientist and team leader and would work hard to understand issues, listen to community concerns and work collaboratively with the rest of the school committee to find strategic solutions to problems.
There are four areas of concern that I would focus on as a school committee member.
If elected, I will work side by side with the other members of the school council to make decisions that will allow students, parents, teachers and administration to rebuild and recover from two years of disruption. learnings. We need to address academic losses, but also support social-emotional learning.
Teachers are at the heart of our schools and we need to make sure they have the resources and support they need to continue doing a job that is more challenging in every way than it was two years ago. years.
The future of our elementary schools
It’s time to come together as a community and clearly articulate a vision for Natick Elementary Schools. As a former parent of Lilja, my daughters received a good education, but we also saw the negative impacts of the addition of modular classrooms, overcrowded common spaces and other challenges that persist to this day. . The decision to close Johnson Elementary and prepare a proposal for a new elementary school has started a new chapter that will impact every neighborhood. There will be many other important decisions to be made by the school committee in the years to come. We have the opportunity to engage with all stakeholders to create an inspiring strategic vision that can improve the entire elementary education system.
As a member of the school council, I would fulfill my obligation to ensure that there is strong two-way communication with the community. I believe there is an opportunity for the School Committee to do more to ensure concerns are both heard and addressed. For example, it would help everyone make the school budgeting process more transparent. As the body that approves the school budget, I would like the school committee to reaffirm its obligation to respond to community concerns and set the framework for school administration accordingly. It starts with sharing a clear and more understandable budget linked to the district’s strategic plan.
Natick used grants, reimbursements, and other one-time funds to fill gaps in its budgets and pilot new initiatives. I would like to urgently work on a more sustainable and long-term plan for stable funding. For example, Natick was fortunate to be able to use COVID relief funds to address pandemic-related learning losses. The school district will have to decide how to keep these programs afloat after the original funding sources expire. We must very carefully weigh the needs of the district against our fundraising abilities, in order to responsibly manage the programs that help our students and educators thrive.
I would love to hear from you! Please visit www.elise4natick.com to learn more about my
priorities and to let me know your thoughts on the Natick schools and the school committee.
It would be an honor for me to serve on the Natick School Committee, and I request your vote on March 29 respectively.