Author Archives: Ellen Gibson

Statement to School Committe on FY14 Budget — April 4, 2013

Good evening.  My name is Ellen Gibson and I live at 41 Vernon Street in Newton Corner.

First, I want to thank and congratulate the School Committee, the Superintendent and the Mayor for your hard work on the override.  The success of the override is a testament to the credibility with the community that you all have worked hard to establish.  I also want to thank the Mayor for his partnership with the schools and the School Committee and his commitment to education.

This is a terrific budget.  Everyone on the School Committee, David Fleishman and his staff including Sandy Guryan and her team worked hard long hours to develop and implement System Wide Goals and Budget Guidelines that reflect our commitment to providing every child with a 21st century education.  This budget reflects the investment that we need to make in our schools and in our students.  I am particularly impressed with the long-range planning that has been done around enrollment and facilities needs so that we are looking at the upcoming fiscal year and the next five years.

I am also impressed with the changes being made within our Special Education Department to address the needs of our students with identified special education issues in a more comprehensive and efficient way.  The reorganization plans at the elementary schools, new programing at the middle school level, and the district-wide tracking of trends makes clear that we are making great strides in the area of Special Education.

And there is still exciting work ahead of us.  Social and emotional learning is a vital part of our regular education commitment to all of our students.  I am particularly enthusiastic about the commitment that the School Committee and the administration have made to educating the whole child.  Both the System Wide Goals and the Budget Guidelines — which are the basis for this budget –reflect that commitment. It is my hope that we will continue to talk about and make a priority the importance of embedding social emotional learning in all of our classrooms because we recognize that it is an integral part of every child’s 21st century education.

Ellen Gibson Announces Candidacy for School Committee from Ward 1

Ellen Gibson of Vernon Street in Newton Corner announces her candidacy for School Committee from Ward 1. Ellen’s experience as a Newton Public Schools staff member, parent leader, attorney and human resources director will bring to the committee skills that will help Newton Schools educate students to meet the challenges of the future.

Ellen has worked as a Special Education Aide in kindergarten and 1st grade at Franklin and Underwood elementary schools.  She served on the Superintendent Search Committee that led to the hiring of School Superintendent Dr. David Fleishman, and on the Full-Day Kindergarten Task Force. She was a PTO president at Underwood, PTO Vice President at Bigelow, and currently serves as a member of the Newton North and Bigelow School Councils.

“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,” said School Committee Chair Claire Sokoloff.

Ellen outlined her priorities saying “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 5 years.”

Ellen’s understanding of the importance of social and emotional education grew out of her work as a Special Education aide in the Franklin and Underwood schools. “I have seen first-hand the critical importance of teaching all students the skills necessary to navigate the complexities of peer relationships.  These skills enable students to access academics and become successful learners and members of their school community.”

Funding technology is another concern.  “All schools need to be equipped with 21st century technology.  How we fund our technology is an important piece of the conversation.  Technology does not replace good teachers – it supplements them,” Ellen says.

“As a member of the PTO Council, Ellen worked to promote equitable funding of technology across the school system so that all Newton students can benefit from the technology that enhances their learning experience,” said former PTO Council Chair Marcia Tabenken.

Ellen grew up in Milton, Massachusetts and attended Vassar College and Boston University School of Law.  She was an assistant editor for Little Brown and Company in New York, practiced law at Taylor, Anderson and Travers in Boston, and was the Director of Human Resources for a small company in Somerville.  She served on the Board of Directors at the Presbyterian Church Nursery School and on the Board of Trustees for Milton Academy.

Ellen and her husband Nate have a son at Newton North High School and a daughter at Day Middle School.

The School Committee election will take place Tuesday November 5. Current Ward 1 School Committee member Geoff Epstein is not running for re-election.

For more information, visit

Sarah Ecker, Treasurer, Ellen Gibson for School Committee Campaign, 41 Vernon Street, Newton, MA  02458