Sophia Ho Minuteman Letter to the Editor, February 2, 2017

Even though Kate Colburn and I are of different generations, I am familiar with her professional experience and her community service since she moved to Lexington. I am quite impressed, thus I am glad she is running for school committee.

I am not surprised that so many former school committee members and fellow town meeting members have endorsed her. Kate is simply the right person, at the right time. Her experience as a professional consultant to towns for capital improvement planning and community work on school master planning brings expertise, which is now badly needed, on the School Committee.

Lexington school staff, teachers and students have struggled admirably to maximize the available classroom spaces. By any reasonable standard, we are well over capacity. For the nearly four years the School Committee has engaged a number of consultants and commissioned studies to determine the best path forward.

The Committee now faces important decisions that impact the schools and the town. These decisions could benefit immensely from Kate’s professional expertise, and her experience on Lexington’s Appropriation Committee, where she served as the liaison to the School Committee. She has been the Chair of Precinct 4 in Town Meeting, a member of the Town Meeting Executive Committee, and the Permanent Building Committee. In all of these roles Kate has consistently demonstrated an ability to work transparently and collaboratively with her colleagues to find common ground.

Lexington residents for 51 years, my husband and I feel very fortunate to have raised our three children here, all of whom have benefited from the schools. We need someone as qualified as Kate to ensure we maintain the standards, innovation and quality for which Lexington is known without unduly burdening our tax dollar.

Sophia Ho

Amy Selinger Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 26, 2017

I am writing today to urge my neighbors to join me in voting for Kate Colburn on March 6.  Kate’s qualifications, talent, experience and commitment make her the best choice to serve on the School Committee.

Lexington is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family.  In recent years, our town has welcomed many new residents and our schools have faced the pressure of maintaining high standards while absorbing growing numbers.  Proposed solutions not only impact our students but also all residents as the cost of educating tomorrow’s citizens is shared by all.  Quite simply put, Kate is the most qualified candidate to join the School Committee in making these important decisions.

Kate’s legal background as a consultant for capital and school master planning is invaluable but the thoughtful action she has taken as a parent is what makes Kate stand out.  Kate’s creation of the Lexington Parent’s Advocacy Group demonstrates her willingness to find pragmatic solutions in a transparent and inclusive way.  I first met Kate as a fellow concerned parent seeking ways to support our school system.  I was immediately impressed with her ability to calmly study all the available information, understand the needs of various constituencies, put forth practical solutions, and collaborate with others to seek consensus.  What struck me the most about Kate was her thoughtful approach to debate, discussion, and even disagreement.

It is critical that our town leaders continue to work together to quickly and effectively find solutions to the pressing problems presented by overcrowding while keeping the fiscal health of our town at the forefront.  Lexington’s School Committee needs Kate Colburn’s leadership, and I ask you to join me in voting for Kate on March 6.

Amy Selinger

Sandy Beebee Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 26, 2017

While Lexington public schools have a fabulous reputation, we cannot take future success for granted.  Our schools need significant capital investment and suffer from overcrowding, while our students struggle with high levels of stress.  I believe Kathryn Colburn is the best candidate to tackle these challenges and support her election to School Committee. 

I got to know Kate through the Lexington Parents Advocacy Group (LPAG), a committee of parents passionate about solving the overcrowding problem.  She was our leader.  I was impressed by her keen analytical mind, commitment to public service and professional temperament.

Kate is a lawyer by training, and has a remarkable ability to identify what is critical to understand an issue.  When we were on LPAG, she was constantly seeking solutions that would require the least financial investment for the best long-term impact. 

She is also passionate about town governance.  She has been a town meeting member since 2014.  She was on the Permanent Building Committee and was the Appropriations Committee’s liaison to the School Committee.  However, she often attends committee meetings beyond her domain of responsibility to gain additional perspective and build relationships.

Kate is an excellent communicator.  I have seen her build consensus and maintain positive relationships amongst disagreeing parties, and am confident she would do the same on School Committee.  I believe she will be open about her plans and very accessible to the Lexington community.

With children in elementary and middle school, Kate has direct knowledge of what is happening at our schools and has every motivation to ensure Lexington’s educational success continues.  I trust that if Kate is on the School Committee, my decision to move to Lexington for the quality of the schools will be vindicated.

Sandy Beebe

Susie Lee-Snell Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 26, 2017

I highly recommend Kate Colburn for School Committee. Kate is an active member of the Lexington community, serving both on town committee as well school initiatives. She cares deeply about the town and schools and her passion for equality lead to her starting the Lexington Parent Advocacy Group. She worked tirelessly attending every school committee meeting and met with various parent groups to thoroughly understand the many issues related to solving the over-crowding issue of our schools. She is a thoughtful listener and takes initiative to reach out to various community members to better understand what is valued by the residents of Lexington. When advocating for a solution, she strived to find the balance that would allow all students to learn in an enriching environment while being fiscally manageable for the town.

Kate has served in leadership positions while volunteering at the school level and has served as the precinct chair as a Town Meeting Member, evidence of her ability to lead and people’s confidence in her. She has a very calm demeanor and is able to quickly synthesize information that’s been presented and extrapolates key points to share with others.

Being a member of an extended, multicultural family, Kate values the richness of a cultural diverse community. However, she is also aware of the complexity that may exist within a diverse community and continues to broaden her cultural knowledge and the values of the different cultural communities in Lexington.

As a former educator and leader of the Korean community in Lexington, I am confident that Kate will work towards bringing balance to our current education system. She will help create a system where students find joy in learning, parents are valued and teachers and faculty enjoy coming to work. Please join me in supporting Kate this March!

Susie Lee-Snell

Co-Founder of KOLex

(Korean Organization of Lexington)

Bruce Leader Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 26, 2017

When I think about the many challenges that the School Committee is facing I am struck by the complicated nature of the issues. While school overcrowding and building capacity immediately spring to mind, the School Committee’s also concentrate on the continued development of innovative learning models focused on academic excellence. All this is in the pursuit of ensuring that our students develop a true appreciation for the value of life-long learning. While trying to achieve these goals, the School Committee cannot ignore the fact that our tax dollars must also support our municipal necessities.

Given the complexity of these issues, I can think of no one more qualified to deal with these challenges than Kate Colburn. She has an impressive track record serving our town in multiple capacities as a volunteer on a number of PTO boards, a town meeting member, and serving on many town committees including: the Permanent Building, Legal Affairs, and Appropriations Committees. Of particular relevance, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Kate has been the liaison to the School Committee, focusing her attention on school budgets, proposed capital projects and recommendations to Town Meeting.

Kate is very proactive. As a result of many conversations with concerned parents in Lexington, Kate realized that there was a need for a citizen’s organization to advocate for accountability and effectiveness in response to school population growth and the strain it has placed on the Town’s infrastructure. In response to this need, Kate founded the Lexington Parent’s Advocacy Group.

At the annual town election on March 6th, I am voting for a Kate Colburn. I do so in recognition of her many contributions to our town, and the considerable experience she will bring to the School Committee as it plans for the future.

Bruce J. Leader

Kate Colburn’s Statement on METCO

Kate Colburn’s Statement on METCO

I support the Metco program unequivocally. Since 1966 it has been a point of pride for the Lexington community. Metco benefits students who live in Lexington as well as those who live in Boston by bringing together children of diverse backgrounds and experiences and facilitating conversations, educational opportunities, and friendships that would not have occurred otherwise.

COMMITMENT FOR 3-YEAR TERM & CAMPAIGN UPDATE FROM KATE

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, Bill Hurley resigned his position on the School Committee last Tuesday for health reasons. I was heartbroken to hear Bill’s news. He is a dedicated public servant who served as a stabilizing force on the committee during some difficult times. My campaign team and I wish Bill well.

On Monday night, the Town Clerk and Town Manager described the procedure for filling the remainder of Bill’s term. The seat will appear on the ballot as a one-year term separate from the three-year term I am seeking. Candidates may not seek both seats.

I intend to stay with the three-year term. I would like to spend the next three years focusing on addressing the serious issues facing our schools, such as overcrowding, unhealthy stress, and fiscal challenges, rather than expending volunteer time and donor resources on another campaign next year. Many of my supporters have contacted me this week and urged me to stay the course. Thank you for the encouragement!

As of today, it appears I will be running against Judy Crocker. This will be challenging because she is the incumbent, but with hard work and your assistance, I like our chances. To date we have 200 early endorsers, 16 events scheduled, and enthusiastic support from many Lexington leaders. Yet, we have much more to do and can only do it with your help.

With enthusiasm for the challenges ahead and appreciation for your support,

Kate

Molly Nye Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 12, 2017

Vote Kate Colburn for School Committee

With a high-five, I write in support of Kate Colburn who’s running for School Committee.  I have known her as a neighbor and fellow Town Meeting member.

She’s a mother of three children in the Lexington school system, passionate about school issues and particularly the issue of overcrowding with consideration for the taxpayers’ burden.

Kate is an attorney currently working as a consultant for the municipal planning and community development firm.  She was the founder of the Parents Advocacy Group and serves on the Town Appropriation Committee.

I hope everyone will make an effort to meet, greet and question Kate Colburn to learn that she is well qualified for your vote on March 6.

Molly Nye

Meredith Applegate Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 12, 2017

Kate Colburn, committed to serving Lexington

Kate Colburn is an ideal candidate for School Committee and would deliver tremendous results for our schools.  Kate, who has three children in our schools, has an impressive background and skill set, a strong commitment to our schools and town and a compelling set of ideas. 

Kate’s professional experience and talents are uniquely relevant.  Kate is an attorney with strong analytical and communication skills and serves as independent consultant for a municipal planning and community development firm.  Kate assits towns with capital improvement and school master planning.  Kate is skilled enough to dig deeply into the details while also thinking about the big picture. 

She also understands the need to balance school and municipal needs with budget pressures to provide flexible and practical solutions, and can think creatively and pragmatically.

Kate has a deep understanding of our school and town budgets, priorities and challenges.  Kate served as volunteer board member for her children’s preschool and LexFUN!; currently she actively volunteers in the elementary and middle schools and has also taken a leadership role inunderstanding school overcrowding.  She has served on Town Meeting and the Appropriations Committee including Liaison to the School Committee.  In these capacities, she has attended countless meetings to research and advocate for practical solutions for our schools.

I believe in Kate and her ideas for change.  Kate plans to provide focus and strategic action around three key areas: overcrowding, pragmatic and long-term problem solving; and innovation around new learning models to promote curiosity and address stress.  Kate is a team player with tremendous ideas, knowledge and skills that can get things done.  We need Kate on our School Committee.

Please join me in supporting Kate Colburn on for School Committee on March 6

Meredith Applegate

Karen Griffiths Minuteman Letter to the Editor, January 12, 2017

Kate Colburn for School Committee

I am thrilled that Kate Colburn is running for School Committee, and I urge you to join me in voting for her on March 6.  As a Lexington parent and committed volunteer, I recognize the challenges facing our schools, such as overcrowding and its related fiscal and educational issues, as well as student stress and its effects.  Kate is uniquely suited to address these topics as a School Committee member.

When I first met Kate, I was struck by her thoughtfulness, her sense of purpose and her pragmatism.  She digs to the bottom of every issue, and considers all sides before deciding on a path forward.  Kate’s strong skills are exactly what the SC needs as our community works to maintain our schools’ excellence while tackling the challenges we face. 

Two years ago, when the School Committee was initially struggling with the best way to add space to our overcrowded elementary schools, Kate founded the Lexington Parents Advocacy Group in order to help research the problem and keep people informed of the issues.  She has also served on PTO/A boards, as a Town Meeting member and on the Appropriation Committee.  This experience has allowed her to analyze and understand both the broad effects of capital expenditures on taxpayers, as well as the details in balancing school and municipal priorities in order to develop practical solutions.  Kate also serves as a consultant to other towns to help with their capital improvement planning.  It would be wonderful to have the benefit of this tremendous experience here in Lexington.

Lexington is a wonderful community, and Kate exemplifies much of what makes it so: passion, commitment, experience and especially leadership. You can learn more about Kate and why she will make an excellent addition to the School Committee at colburnforlexington.com.

Karen Griffiths

minuteman letter to the editor, january 5, 2017

We believe Kate Colburn will bring multiple perspectives and broad experience to the school committee when addressing the complicated decisions and tradeoffs necessary to achieve results that are consistent with Lexington’s short and long-term goals. Her tenure in Lexington Town Meeting, coupled with her role as the Appropriations Committee liaison to the School Committee, provides her with unique insight into balancing educational and municipal priorities. Currently, a working parent and a part-time consultant, she works with small towns facing similar capital improvement and school master planning challenges.

Kate has been involved in a number of town volunteer activities since moving to Lexington. She has served on several PTA boards and founded the Lexington Parents Advocacy Group to research and provide, pragmatic options to address school overcrowding.

Kate has been described as thoughtful, practical and collaborative, and is known for her innovative approach to problem solving. We agree and hope that you will too. For more about Kate, check out her website, ColburnforLexington.com , attend a neighbor’s coffee, or one of the many candidate’s night that will be scheduled in the coming two months.

Committee to Elect Colburn

Jennifer Ray

Irene Dondley

Kim Hine

Cerise Jalelian

Cornelia Johnson

Michelle Oldershaw

Stacey Raiche

Claire Sheth

P.K. Shiu

Minuteman Letter to Editor, December 15, 2016

It is with great enthusiasm that I share that I am running for a seat on the Lexington School Committee. Faced with overcrowding, budget pressures, and severe student stress, Lexington needs strong leadership from its School Committee. I am prepared to take on these challenges.

My husband and I moved here to live in a diverse and welcoming community and to provide our three children with a great education. Since then, I have developed a tremendous appreciation for our school system and our town and have served both wholeheartedly. In recent years, I have worked hard to promote pragmatic, affordable solutions to our school capacity shortage through work on PTO/A Boards, founding the Lexington Parents Advocacy Group, serving on Town Meeting, and on the Appropriation Committee. 

On the Appropriation Committee, I studied the effects of every expenditure on taxpayers. I have been responsible for analyzing and reporting on the full School Department budget and all potential school building projects, and examining ways to balance school and municipal priorities. I will use this experience to help develop practical solutions to operating budget pressures and school overcrowding, bringing maximum value to taxpayers.

I support the current administration’s efforts to investigate innovative educational models that focus less on standardized testing and more on encouraging curiosity, discovery, and deep exploration of curriculum topics. These have the potential to strengthen student academic engagement and reduce unhealthy stress, bringing a new kind of educational excellence to our system.

I am an attorney and part-time independent consultant for a municipal planning and community development firm, where I help towns with capital improvement planning and school master planning. 
I would be honored to bring this experience to the School Committee, and ask for your vote on March 6, 2017.
 
With sincere thanks,
Kate Colburn, Candidate for Lexington School Committee