GN School Connections invited all 11 candidates running for the School Committee in November 2019 to attend its meeting on October 10 and share their thoughts about environmental sustainability in Newton Schools.

Candidates Bridget Ray-Canada, Galina Rosenblit, Anping Shen, Matthew Miller and Ruth Goldman sent their regrets but were not able to attend. Other candidates did not respond to the invitation.

We thank Tamika Olszewski, Emily Prenner, Margaret Albright, Kathy Shields for accepting our invitation to get to know our group and to answer our questions in person. See the 4 attending candidates’responses to our questions at the meeting HERE.

In addition School Connections invited the 11 School Committee candidates to send in written responses to the following questions. See the candidates who wrote back and their responses.


1. Can you share any relevant background or accomplishments you have in the area of environmental sustainability? See Responses

2. In your decision making about the Newton Public Schools, where would you place environmental sustainability among your priorities? See Responses

3. Please describe how sustainability would factor into your decision-making process regarding fitting major school construction/renovation projects and daily operation of school buildings. What do you think can better support healthy, resource-efficient and environmentally friendly learning spaces? See Responses

4. Newton schools lack a comprehensive approach to teaching environmental topics across grades K-12. The curriculum ought to do more to educate students about the science of climate change and how it is impacting all life and ecosystems on our planet. Students should also learn about green technology innovation, in order to prepare them to work in a clean energy economy. In your view, how might the School Committee prioritize education on environmental topics in our schools? See Responses

5. Green Newton School Connections Group has been working on several initiatives. Would you like to comment on one or more of them? See Responses

  • Hiring a dedicated Sustainability Coordinator for Newton Public Schools
  • Reducing food waste and single use plastic in school cafeterias
  • Implementing a food recovery program at NPS
**Residents can vote for all school committee candidates regardless of ward. Vote for (up to) ONE for each ward throughout the city. More useful information on voting in Newton is available HERE.**

Please share with your friends and neighbors — and please VOTE on Nov 5!