Vote for Lauren Duprey

We are writing to share our strong support for Lauren Duprey and encourage you to vote for her as our next Wellesley School Committee Member.

My wife and I are parents of two young children and live in the Sprague neighborhood. We have known Lauren for more than 15 years and consider her a dear friend. We’ve had the privilege of getting to know Lauren and experiencing her in a variety of settings.

I attended Harvard with Lauren and from there developed a friendship that translated into engaging professionally where she has acted as an advisor and advocate for my company which seeks to deliver important healthcare services to potentially underserved populations. Through the years I have been blown away by Lauren’s work ethic. She is able to balance many things while simultaneously making you feel like you are the only thing she has going on. I have no doubt that she’ll bring this same energy to the complex and important work of the School Committee and for that I am grateful.

My wife worked with Lauren for years and got to know her and her reputation very well. For a while their offices were just a few doors from each other. Lauren was a trusted and respected HR leader for their team. People at all levels would seek Lauren out to discuss challenges — ranging from strategic business issues to highly personal topics. She handled each with empathy, creative problem solving and care. One instance that stands out is when Lauren advocated for services to support new mothers when they needed to travel from their infants. This wasn’t in the scope of her job per se, she simply wanted to help.

If elected, Lauren would be the only School Committee member with preschool and elementary aged kids. This is important. The best committees reflect the communities they serve and the School Committee should strive for this as well. Lauren offers an important and complementary perspective that we believe will enable the School Committee to best achieve its important goals.

Please join us in voting for Lauren on March 17.

John and Lauren Voith

Wall Street

Re-elect Tom Ulfelder

Please join me in voting to re-elect Tom Ulfelder to the Board of Selectmen onMarch 17.

Tom’s commitment to the job of selectman, his unwavering focus on the best interests of the town and his embodiment of professionalism in public service are representative of the person I have known for more than 30 years.

Tom accepts every assignment with a determination to serve our town’s best interests by identifying effective solutions and building consensus. He listens carefully and wants to understand all different points of view to ensure that decisions fully reflect and incorporate community concerns. As the current vice chair of the Board of Selectmen and of the School Building Committee, Tom displays that commitment to deliberation and inclusiveness on a daily basis. His involvement in the Wellesley Office Park project was critical to reaching an agreement with John Hancock and Tom later negotiated the use of electric air source heat pumps for the project’s residential structure, which will result in the town’s single most significant reduction in carbon emissions. Tom has worked tirelessly on the School Building Committee to move the Hunnewell and Hardy-Upham projects forward and also served as a member of the Sustainable Energy Committee. His commitment to a greener Wellesley is well known.

Tom’s analytical, communication and consensus-building skills are reflected in his educational and professional background. Tom has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a master’s degree from Yale. He served as a hospital administrator and healthcare consultant before obtaining his law degree and going on to a distinguished career as a trial attorney.

At a time of increasingly uncivil political discourse, we need Tom’s evenhanded, open and inclusive approach to the complex issues our town must address.

Please vote for Tom on March 17 for a second term on the Board of Selectmen.

Jennifer Snyder

Allen Road

Thank you for supporting Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries will celebrate its 125th anniversary this year. Since its founding, Goodwill has relied on community donations to support its mission services.

Wellesley residents have always been supportive of Goodwill. In 2019, they donated nearly 650,000 pounds of goods to Goodwill. Thank you!

We hope you will continue to think of us. Donations of clothing and household goods help us provide services for individuals who face barriers to employment — those with a disability, veterans, victim of domestic violence and so many more. In Wellesley, donate at our donation center at the municipal recycling center at 169 Great Plain Ave.

For other donation locations, visit http://goodwillmass.org.

Thank you for donating and supporting Goodwill.

Joanne K. Hilferty, president and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries

A discussion about neighborhood schools

As is appropriate, there’s been a lot of discussion lately about neighborhood schools. In all the meetings, petitions and conversations, one voice seems to be absent: the children. I want to share two conversations with my children that help inform my thinking about the important decisions we will be making as a town over the next months and years.

I have two daughters at Sprague, a third grader and a fifth grader. Both have been in the school since kindergarten. We live in that portion of the Sprague district that is on the opposite side of Route 9 and doesn’t really meet the typical criteria of “walkable.”

Following my oldest daughter’s town basketball game this weekend, I mentioned to her how great it was that, due to her participation in town sports, she’ll know a lot of people from the other schools when she goes to middle school next year. Her response surprised me: “I think we’re pretty lucky to go to Sprague because we already know a lot more people than kids at the other schools.” When I asked her if she thought there was any downside to being at a bigger school, she said no. “We have the same number of kids in our classes as my friends in other schools do. We just get to know more people overall.” From her point of view, the size of Sprague is the best of both worlds. I can’t say for certain but I suspect this is a widely shared view of Sprague parents and children. The size of the school is certainly not overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination. The school is terrific. The kids are happy. It is a community.

The second conversation involves my younger daughter, who has recently become obsessed with baking. It is amazing to watch her find and embrace a passion. Since no one person or family could possibly eat all the cakes and cupcakes she makes, she has been baking for friends. Last night, as we were walking to a friend’s house to deliver a cupcake, Caroline said how she loved having friends who lived close by and whose houses she could walk to. From her perspective, it doesn’t really matter where the school is, the important thing is where her friends are. Those friendships, which form the heart of their social and emotional health, are essential; if they go to school with their friends, they are happy. Or, to put it more succinctly, when discussing neighborhood schools, the neighborhood matters more than the school.

I don’t pretend that all children and adults will or should have the same opinions on this. But I think it’s important to at least listen to the kids. The message from mine is clear: despite being in one of the town’s larger schools and living further from the school than most, they love being in Sprague and feel that they’re fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community. As a parent, I agree completely.

Michael Rodman, Precinct D

Colburn Road

Vote ‘yes’ March 17

Dismantling an elementary school is destroying a community.

Common sense tells me to vote “yes” for seven schools March 17.

I’m a 28-year Wellesley resident, an educator and a Town Meeting member. When looking for a home to raise our family my husband and I studied multiple Boston suburban communities’ school systems. Wellesley stood out because of its commitment to and the value it placed on educating young learners in small neighborhood schools.

As a parent and an educator I was able to experience the quality of education and the community connections that our small neighborhood schools foster in young learners and their parents. Research has proven that students do better academically, emotionally and socially in small neighborhood schools. Their “walkability” promotes health. In an era of mass academic standardization, their small size allows them the flexibility to focus on individual students’ requirements and respond to community-specific needs.

Closing a school does not serve its community best. Our small neighborhood school model is high performing. Hardy has been recognized as one of the best performing elementary schools in the state, yet some of our School Committee members are on record as recommending closing it. Our town boards should be working towards keeping all seven schools with an approach that emphasizes more cost-efficient construction, rather than closing one and making massive investments to extravagantly supersize two schools.

Keeping seven would be less disruptive. Imagine what a “Hunne-Whopper” school would do to an already congested Wellesley Square. Little if any redistricting would be required. And, if commonsense prevailed, the issue of expensive swing space during construction could be solved by using the largest site, Hardy, to build a new school while the existing school was still operational. Students from the next school could then occupy the new school while their school was being built.

There is nothing more powerful than working together in support of what we value most. I ask and encourage our elementary neighborhood communities to come together as “One Wellesley” and support each other and vote “yes” on March 17. It’s a win for all!

Kitty Cort

Fisher Avenue

Vote for Catherine Mirick for School Committee

I encourage all Wellesley voters to vote for Catherine Mirick for the School Committee. I know Catherine through Scouting in Wellesley. As a Girl Scout volunteer, Catherine most recently co-lead the Troop for High School girls. As one of the co-leaders of Troop 73200’s Swiss Alps hiking trip, I saw first-hand Catherine’s dedication to the girls, her skills in planning, collaborative leadership style, positive attitude and calm guidance in helping the Scouts problem-solve when unexpected situations arose.

Catherine actively volunteers with Boy Scout Troop 185 and helps advise Venture Crew 42, a co-ed group for older youth. Catherine helped organize and lead a replacement hiking trip to Colorado after wildfires cancelled a planned trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in summer 2018. She was instrumental in planning and executing the replacement trip on short notice within the allotted budget and ensuring that the Scouts had an adventure to remember. This summer Catherine will lead the Scouts to the original destination: Philmont Scout Ranch.

As a Scout leader, Catherine ensures that all viewpoints are heard, understands the views and needs of youth and parents and works collaboratively to enable youth to develop independence and leadership skills.

A past co-president of the PTOs at Sprague, WMS and WHS, Catherine has extensive knowledge of the workings of the school system and relationships with parents, faculty and administration. With children in college and WHS, she has experienced the system from start to finish.

Catherine will be an effective school committee member. She will listen to all, research the issues, weigh the facts and make fiscally prudent decisions needed to modernize our elementary schools, while maintaining both the collegiality and the academic excellence of our schools.

I hope you will join me in voting for Catherine on March 17.

Ann King

Sawyer Road