LETTER: School Mental Health Professional, Mother of 2 Running for School Committee

Jessica Middlebrook announced her run for School Committee. She is shown with her two daughters at Watertown Town Hall. My name is Jessica Middlebrook and I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for Watertown School Committee. In the wake of the most disruptive and painful school year in living memory, our community needs experienced, empathic leaders who will build connections, foster difficult but important conversations, and work toward creating equitable school cultures where all students feel valued and safe. With my experience as a parent and school mental health professional, my strong progressive values, and my abiding love for our community, I know that I can help our schools work better for all our kids and families.  

My husband, David, and I have been residents of Watertown for the past 12 years. We were drawn here to start our family because of its diversity and caring, engaged community.

LETTER: Watertown Mother, Educator Running for School Committee

School Committee candidate Jennifer Nicholson, her husband Ryan Nicholson (Assistant Fire Chief on the Watertown Fire Department), and their children. My name is Jennifer (Holt) Nicholson and as a lifelong resident of Watertown, I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for the Watertown School Committee. It would be a tremendous honor for me to serve with pride and give back to the community that has given so much to my entire family. My children, incoming third and first graders at Cunniff, are fourth generation students of Watertown Public Schools. My husband, who is currently Assistant Fire Chief for the Watertown Fire Department, and I both graduated from Watertown High School in 2003.

Watertown Children’s Summer Reading 2021 Kicks Off at the Watertown Library

The following information came from the Watertown Library:

As the school year winds down, there’s a lot to look forward to! Watertown Free Public Library’s annual summer reading program begins when the academic year ends. We’re here to help keep your student’s reading on track.  

How To Participate

Open the Challenge Card and print it from home. Challenge Cards are also available in the Children’s Room.Read!

Residents Wanted to Serve on Architectural Committee for New High School

Ai3 ArchitectsA rendering of what the new Watertown High School could look like. The view is from Common Street. The following information was provided by the School Building Committee:

The School Building Committee is in the schematic design phase of the new Watertown High School. An architecture sub-committee is being established and is looking for citizen input to assist in some of the design elements. We are looking for citizens with backgrounds in architecture, engineering and sustainability. 

This is a commitment through this phase which will wrap up by the end of the year and may meet 3-4 times a month.

More Than $250K Raised for Walker Therapeutic & Education Programs, Including Watertown’s Beacon School

Walker Therapeutic and Educational ProgramsMaureen O. Kelly, EdD, Recipient of Walker’s 2021 Distinguished Community Leadership Award. The following announcement was provided by Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs:

On May 20, 2021 Walker Therapeutic and Educational Programs (Walker) hosted a virtual Lives in Bloom Gala which raised more than $260,000 to support the organization’s residential, educational, and community-based services for children and families. For Walker – which is celebrating 60 years of delivering special education and clinical programming to youth and families in Massachusetts – this marked the first time their signature fundraiser was held virtually. The hour-long program featured families and children in the Walker Community (including the Beacon School in Watertown) who shared their experiences, plus a staff discussion forum examining the past year and looking to the future. Walker President and CEO Gene Takahashi reflected on how the pandemic impacted Walker’s programs over the past year.

School Committee Chairman Will Not Seek Re-election in November

School Committee chair John Portz will not be seeking re-election in 2021. After 16 years on the Watertown School Committee, John Portz announced he will not be running for another term. The current School Committee chair announced his decision at Monday’s School Committee meeting. “As my term ends this year I will not be running for a new term,” Portz said. “It has been a privilege to serve on the committee, and to support our efforts, and build and maintain the best possible school system.”