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Former Newton School Staffer Announces Run for Ward 1 School Committee

The Ward 1 race is wide open this year, as current Ward 1 member Geoff Epstein is not running for a third term.

Vernon Street resident Ellen Gibson announced Friday she will run for the open Ward 1 School Committee seat in this November's municipal election.

In a press release issued yesterday, Gibson touted her work in the Newton Public Schools as well as her experience as a parent teacher organization member, attorney and human resources director.

The Ward 1 School Committee seat will be a wide open race in the fall, as current Ward 1 member Geoff Epstein announced late last year he will not run for a third term on the committee.

Gibson has worked in the past as a special education aide in kindergarten and first grade classes at Underwood and Franklin elementary schools, the press release said. She has also spent time on a number of parent teacher organizations and school councils, including the Underwood PTO, Bigelow PTO, Newton North School Council and Bigelow School Council.

According to the press release, Gibson also served on the Full-Day Kindergarten Task Force and the Superintendent Search Committee that ultimately helped hire current Superintendent David Fleishman. 

The full press release from Gibson is included in the .pdf section to the right.

Gibson, who has a son at Newton North and a daughter at F.A. Day Middle, said she aims to focus on students' social and emotional learning as well as funding for technology.

“As a School Committee member, I will work to ensure that each child’s social and emotional education as well their academic education remain the primary focus of our classrooms, that all of our schools are equally equipped with 21st century technology, and that our facilities provide our students with proper learning environments that accommodate the projected increase in student enrollment over the next five years," Gibson said in the press release. 

A Milton, Mass. native, Gibson attended Vassar College and Boston University School of Law. She has worked as an assistant editor for Little Brown and Company and practiced law at Taylor, Anderson and Travers in Boston. Gibson also spent time as the director of human resources for a small company in Somerville. 

In the press release, School Committee Chair Claire Sokoloff gave a statement of support for Gibson's run in Ward 1.

“Ellen’s extensive experience in all aspects of the schools, combined with her skills as an attorney and human resources professional, will be enormously beneficial to the School Committee,” Sokoloff said in the press release.

The Newton municipal elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Nomination papers for those who are running will be available at City Hall starting May 1. The nomination papers must be signed and returned to the Election Commission by July 30. 

School Committee members are elected city-wide and require 150 signatures on nomination papers.

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