Barbara Lawrence is one of the five candidates seeking three open seats on the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee. Wenham votes on Saturday, May 5 from 8 a.m.-noon at and Hamilton votes on Thursday, April 24 from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at .
Barbara Lawrence, Ed.D.
Personal: We moved to Hamilton 8-1/2 years ago, following my daughter and son-in-law when they announced they were expecting a baby. That baby now has two sisters and will be in third grade at this fall, where her twin sisters will enter kindergarten.
I’ve never run for office before - sorry about all those signs - but I have served on boards and committees, here and in Maine and Boston. I served on the Hamilton Government Study Committee, and have been a member of the Capital Management Committee for about six years. I’m also on the Board of the League of Women Voters and was the first President of Hamilton-Wenham GREEN.
I’m writing two books, and also love to garden, cross-country ski and walk. Walking clears my mind after working at my computer and I appreciate that there are so many places here to take a walk. I also love that it takes me eight minutes to walk to my daughter and son-in-law’s house, that I’ve gotten to know lots of wonderful people of all ages, and had a chance to be involved in the community.
What are the relevant skills and experiences you would bring to the
I’ve been a teacher, professor, researcher in education, policy analyst and writer. (Please visit my website for information about my work). I’ve also run a successful real estate brokerage and construction company. I think my diverse experience can be useful on the School Committee, and offer a balanced perspective.
What is the top issue facing the School Committee? If elected, how
would you deal with it?
I think we are limited more by our difficulty working collaboratively than by diminished funds. Many communities have faced the problem of offering first-rate education with less money and come up with innovative solutions. We can too. Using techniques of qualitative research to map shared goals and concerns, I will help the School Committee listen to all constituents, and develop strategies for addressing the challenges we face. Working in partnerships can help maximize community assets including those of experience and expertise. I will look for ways to form new partnerships and increase non-financial support of the schools.
Why should voters elect you to the School Committee?
I bring skills as a researcher in education to understanding issues, and will search for ways in which to offer a first-rate education to our children when we can’t increase spending. As a former teacher and university professor, I’ve worked with students of all ages. As a researcher, I’ve worked with communities around the U.S. dealing with similar challenges. As a parent, grandparent and resident I care about our community. I want to help us move past the current climate of distrust so we can give our children the best opportunities to maximize their potential, but in a sustainable and cost-effective way.