Candidate questionnaire: Dawn Ronan

119

Dawn RonanPosition being sought: School Committee

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Business manager at Spirit in Motion Dance Academy (10 years)

Education: MassBay Community College

Years lived in Hopkinton: My husband, Mike, and I have lived in Hopkinton since 1998. We have three daughters: Taegan, who is entering seventh grade, Callie-Rose, who is entering her freshman year at Clark University, and Courtney, who is a graduate of Hopkinton High School working toward her degree in special education.

Governmental experience: Chair of the Hopkinton Youth Commission (HYC). Through collaboration with a local business, HYC brought SAT/ACT and college prep courses to students at a discounted price, including securing scholarships for those with financial need. We have also developed a recent community gift card program, allowing an avenue for residents to donate gift cards that are issued to Hopkinton residents through Youth and Family Services and school guidance departments. In the past three years, HYC has continued to develop MLK Day to engage a larger population of our Hopkinton youth and families through new programs and activities. HYC also has a presence at Hopkinton 101, Family Day, Health Fair, Day of Recovery, Fishing Derby and Police Night Out.

Additional volunteer/service experience: Currently I am serving my sixth consecutive year as a School Council member. Last year I was a part of the visioning team behind the Bridge, a sub-committee of the School Committee. The mission of the Bridge is to create community awareness around socioeconomic diversity and understand that unmet needs inhibit a student’s learning, to identify any barriers within our school policies and procedures that may inhibit a student’s ability to access resources, to recognize the unmet needs sometimes go beyond the federal poverty guidelines and be able to meet those needs through connecting community resources. Working with the Bridge, the committee has provided essential needs such as snacks within all our school buildings, headphones, boots, coats and school supplies.

This past January I also initiated the first Diversity and Inclusion Training collaboration between the School Committee and HYC in effort to build a foundation of education around diversity and inclusion for our community. Participating members were the School Committee, school administration, SRO, Youth and Family Services and the Youth Commission.

I served on the Hopkinton Public Schools Bullying Prevention and Intervention committee in 2013, as well as the revision committee in 2018, which guided the policies and procedures to align with state guidelines. I implemented the New Resident Ice Cream Social in collaboration with our school district for new, incoming Hopkinton families entering our school district each fall, and it’s now in its third successful year.

Throughout the years I have been one of the founders of the Hopkinton Moms Group, a Hopkinton Public Library story time coordinator, a Girl Scouts leader, a volunteer at Serenity House, an Elmwood enrichment coordinator, an HPTA community outreach coordinator and a classroom parent several times.

General statement: For more than two decades, going through each school with our three daughters and actively volunteering both in the community and the schools, I have gained a broad perspective of our entire system, as well as an in-depth view of our children’s classroom experiences.

The many School Committee meetings I attend are motivated by my desire to be involved and educated about the direction of our schools. I have a proven track record of seeking increased accountability and transparency over issues around school budget, advocating for students and valuing our educational leaders. I am passionate about advocating not only for our youths’ educational experience, but also their social and emotional health. The challenge our school budget faces due to the impact of growth, and recently the financial impact to communities due to the pandemic, is expected to create additional hurdles over the next few years. It is a time when fiduciary responsibility is especially important to mitigate tax impact on our residents while maintaining class sizes and educational supports to meet all of our students. I look forward to the opportunity to engage our community and work with town leadership to ensure Hopkinton schools can continue to provide an excellent educational experience for all of our students. I will be a voice for our students and our community. I would be honored to have your support at the ballot.