There will be three contested races for seats on the Newton School Committee this year, most notably in Ward 6, where current Chairwoman Ruth E. Goldman will be facing off against challenger Galina N. Rosenblit.
The committee includes nine voting members: one person is elected (citywide) from each of Newton's eight wards, and the mayor serves as an ex-officio member, according to the committee’s website.
Aside from Ward 6, there are also contested races in wards 4 and 5.
Candidates were invited to write 100-word introductions about themselves. Those names with an asterisk (*) are incumbents:
Incumbent Bridget F. Ray-Canada did not submit a candidate introduction by deadline.
*Margaret L. Albright
As your School Committee member from Ward 2 since 2014, I am committed to narrowing achievement gaps and addressing opportunity gaps. I have been a long-time champion of full-day kindergarten, which starts this school year. I have also led efforts to revise policies -- and improve goal setting and evaluation -- to focus more clearly on student outcomes. In the transportation steering group, I work alongside city partners to improve safety and environmental sustainability by encouraging walking, biking, and yellow bus use.
I remain focused on students so that Newton Public Schools provide equity and excellence for all.
As a life-long passionate educator, I have had the privilege of serving as School Committee member for the past two years. Among various roles and responsibilities, I have worked closely with Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC) and Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ). In May, I helped organize a well-attended forum on Asian youth social/emotional wellbeing at the Newton library. I am very grateful for your support and pledge to remain committed to fostering the NPS’s core missions of academic excellence, education equity, and social/emotional learning.
I am Alex Koifman, a former USSR refugee grateful for the opportunity America and Newton have provided me. To give back, I'm seeking election to the Newton School Committee to improve our schools. I support teaching more essential 21st-century skills (technology, math, science) and increased elementary and middle school math and science instruction. I support objective teaching of Western and American history to provide students with unbiased critical thinking and understanding of historical events and politics. I will work tirelessly for academic excellence in all grade levels, more innovative STEM teachers, merit pay implementation, and online curriculum. More www.alexkoifman.com
I’m Tamika Olszewski. I’m running for the Ward 4 School Committee seat. Mother of Burr Elementary fourth-grade twins and an attorney, I have a demonstrated commitment to our schools and community. I’m vice chair of the Burr School Council, a former Burr PTO board member, a Human Rights commissioner, a board member of FORJ, Families Organizing for Racial Justice, and a new board member of the Harmony Foundation. I would ensure that we maintain a strong curriculum, wide breadth of programming, excellent social and emotional supports and preserve reasonable class sizes. Please visit Tamika4schools.com for information regarding my campaign.
I, Lev Agranovich, am formally running for a seat on the Newton School Committee. I have been a Newton (Ward 5) resident for the last 16 years. I am also a parent, volunteer, and professional accountant. I have extensive experience working with government and taxpayer-funded organizations, I hold an MBA and an MSA, and I have worked as the founder and managing partner of the AGS Tax Group for as long as I have lived here. Before then I have held the title of treasurer for multiple scholastic and professional positions.
Emily Rachel Prenner
I have been active in our community for 16 years - as a leader, an advocate and a volunteer. I’ve been a PTO president at the elementary, secondary and citywide levels, served on two School Councils, and led a successful campaign for new school buildings and adequate staffing. As a member of the School Committee, I will use my knowledge of Newton Public Schools to ensure our students have the best education possible. Newton needs to continue hiring highly qualified teachers, provide depth and breadth of programs, and have reasonable class sizes, modern facilities, and a commitment to supporting all learners.
*Ruth E. Goldman
I am a Newton Public Schools graduate, current parent, former PTO co-chair, with a 30-year career in environmental and youth development nonprofits and philanthropy. I was elected to School Committee in 2013. During my tenure, I have been a strong voice for new school buildings, closing the achievement gap, student voice, and fair contracts for all employees. I have served as chair since 2017. In my final term, my priorities include: ensuring school is a place where every child can thrive, modernizing school buildings, supporting innovative programs for all learners and attracting high quality teachers to Newton.
Galina N. Rosenblit
My name is Galina Rosenblit, and I’ve been a Newton resident for 18 years. I have taught math and physics for 40 years in public and private schools, often holding three jobs at a time while raising two daughters. I understand the challenges that students, teachers and working families face.
I love Newton and want to give back to the place I call home by helping NPS to better teaching and to inspire our kids.
I ask for the opportunity to listen to your concerns and to be your advocate for critical, unaddressed issues on the Newton School Committee.
*Kathleen Burdette Shields
I’m Kathy Shields and I’m running for a second term as Ward 7’s School Committee member. In my last 2 years on the School Committee, we have achieved the long-term goal of implementing full-day kindergarten. I have also worked on the school building committee, as liaison to Families Organizing for Racial Justice, and on ways to reduce funding inequities among our neighborhood schools. I have two daughters at Ward Elementary and another at Bigelow Middle and I’ve volunteered in the schools since my oldest started kindergarten. I care deeply about keeping our public schools inclusive, equitable and excellent.
Incumbent Matthew B. Miller did not submit a candidate introduction by deadline.