The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 6, 2006


Carlisle School Council ballots due October 11

The Carlisle School Council is an advisory group with parents, teachers and community representatives mandated by the state of Massachusetts. It writes and implements the School Improvement Plan and enhances the school community.

This year Hunter Hutchinson and Vera Tice will continue to serve as parent representatives and Nadine Bishop will continue to serve as a community representative on the council. The council will be co-chaired by Principal Patrice Hurley and one of the other members.

Three more parents have indicated that they are interested in serving on the School Council. The candidates are: Deb Belanger, Alex Krapf and Mary Storrs. The Carlisle School Association (CSA) will hold an election to determine which

one will serve. The candidates' statements appear below. An election will be held from October 5 through October 11. All parents and guardians of students enrolled in the Carlisle Public School are eligible to vote. Ballots are available online at the school web site ( and may be dropped off at the box in the main office at the school at 83 School Street, or mailed to the school, marked "School Council Election" andpostmarked by October 11. Candidates statements appear below.

Deb Belanger

I would like to serve on the School Council for our Carlisle Public Schools. My husband and I have lived here in Carlisle for 15 years and have two children, ages 13 and eight. My son attended Carlisle Public School from kindergarten through grade six and my daughter is currently a third-grader in the school. We have experienced and benefited firsthand in the growth of this fine school and appreciate all that this school does to provide educational excellence to our children.

The goals of the school council are to identify educational needs of students, develop professional opportunities for staff and enhance parental involvement. A critical product of this work is a school improvement plan, which I expect will represent the best thinking of our school administration, teachers, school committee and parents. The responsibilities of this council require effective collaboration and a commitment to continued excellence.

I believe I have the requisite experience to contribute to the school council. I've served Carlisle in both leadership and supporting volunteer capacities over the years as a member of the Board of Selectmen, the Finance Committee and the Long-term Capital Requirements Committee. I have served on the town's pedestrian safety committee and participated in the development of Carlisle's Affordable Housing Plan. In addition, I have been an active volunteer in my children's activities including being a room parent for four years, a den mom for five years and Sunday School teacher for three years. I believe volunteer work is important, and I work hard at each endeavor. I see the School Council as an opportunity to continue my service to the Carlisle community.

Alex Krapf

We moved to Carlisle eight years ago, in large part due to its excellent school system. Two of our three children attend the Carlisle Public Schools. I grew up in Germany, where I studied electrical engineering at the University of Stuttgart. For the last seven years I have been operating a software business from a home office. About two years ago, I became very interested in our school over issues related to the math curriculum and school governance. I have since visited almost all School Committee meetings. My regular attendance, and maybe my outspokenness, gained me a seat on the Principal Search Committee. I moderated the three candidates' introduction meetings with Dale Ryder.

I am neither completely satisfied with our school system, nor dissatisfied with it. I believe that there are things which can be improved, but I know that there are many factors which make this hard to do. Many of these factors are largely outside our sphere of influence, for example, countrywide trends in education or state and federal mandates.

If I were elected to the School Council, I would have two primary goals: to learn as much as possible about our school, and to raise the School Council's visibility to parents. This latter goal is based on my belief that our School Council could be more effective. One year ago I was doing some research on state educational laws, and I was surprised to find out that we had a School Council! All its work had been largely invisible to me, even though I regard myself as an "interested" parent. I was hardly the only Carlisle parent in this situation. This is doubly worrisome at a time when we have a lot of parents attending School Committee meetings, looking for a venue to air their concerns. They are rightfully told that the School Committee is not that venue. The question that invariably follows: "Then what is the right venue?" I believe that the School Council is the right venue for parents, staff, and administration to discuss concerns about school goals, policies and curriculum. I will try to make sure that we use it for that purpose, and that more parents know about it. I would appreciate your support.

Mary Storrs

As I have become involved in school volunteer activities and attended School Committee meetings over the last year, I have become more and more intrigued by the role of the School Council. Last spring, I took it upon myself to do some research to understand their purpose and how they might be effective in our community.Given their primary role in developing the School Improvement Plan, School Council members have an opportunity and obligation to gather facts (including budget limitations) and make suggestions for improvement.

With the new principals and the school community's current state of transition, this would seem an appropriate time to create an active, effective and well-intentioned School Council.I am dedicated to working with the Council, School Committee and school staff in a constructive manner to further the success of our schools.On a personal note, my husband Lee and I have lived in Carlisle for 11 years and have a first-grader at CPS.I work full-time conducting research on investment systems and industry issues for a consortium of global asset managers.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito