Editor’s Note: Per the SOURCE election policy, each candidate is allowed to submit an announcement in their own words for the election. Town of Natick election is March 29.
NATICK – My name is Cathi Collins. I am the current vice-chair of the Natick School Committee and I am running for re-election. I am deeply committed to the town of Natick and to the Natick Public Schools. The depth and breadth of my experience with the Town’s finances and operations, make me uniquely qualified to be a highly effective member of the School Committee.
When I ran first in 2019, I shared a number of goals and I’m proud to say that we’ve met or made significant progress on all of them, including:
• ensuring a thorough budget review and analysis to establish that requested budgets were appropriate and necessary to support the Natick Public Schools’ educational goals and operations while also remaining cognizant of the Town’s budgetary constraints
• keeping elementary school class sizes as small possible
• staffing the new Kennedy Middle School
• advocating for policy and curriculum changes to provide all Natick students with a high-
quality education, resulting in students who are curious, confident, life-time learners.
In 2019, I couldn’t have imagined the global pandemic we would be living through for the majority of my tenure on the committee. While we continued pushing forward on important goals for the district, for the last two years, we’ve had to focus much of our attention on navigating the critical social, emotional, physical, and educational impacts of COVID-19. There was no playbook for how to best meet the wide-range of student and teacher needs in such circumstances.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together over the last three years, despite facing the most challenging circumstances imaginable. I am committed to continuing this important work as I believe that there is more that can and should be done to further improve our students’ outcomes.
Further, I believe it is imperative that the committee enjoy the stability born of experience to ensure our full focus is on meeting our students’ educational and social-emotional needs.
While we will continue to contend with COVID-19, and will take important lessons from it, my goals for the next three years include:
• Continuous responsible financial stewardship to ensure the Natick Public Schools have the resources necessary to address the needs of all students while simultaneously controlling the rate at which the NPS budget grows
• Defining annual and 5-year strategic and educational goals and policies to substantively improve student outcomes at all levels and demonstrate our responsibility and commitment to students, faculty, staff and families
• Negotiating competitive labor contracts with each NPS collective bargaining unit which recognize the vital role our employees play in the success of NPS’ students and encourage experienced faculty to remain with the district
• Ensuring equitable access to opportunity for all students, faculty and staff of Natick Public Schools so every individual is seen, valued, and secure.
• Identifying and providing necessary academic and social-emotional recovery resources for each student experiencing setbacks due to COVID-19
• Approving an evidence-based structured literacy curriculum for teaching foundational
• Ensuring that school facilities advance the educational programs and policies to enhance
student learning while also promoting sustainability
I respectfully ask for your vote on Tuesday,March 29th. Together with my Natick School Committee colleagues, I vow to continue our hard but necessary work to ensure that all Natick students receive a high-quality education and graduate as informed, thoughtful and productive citizens.
If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com