So much of my life has revolved around Newton since I moved to the city 33 years ago. I was married in Newton (the old Mill Falls Restaurant in Upper Falls), bought a house here (Newton Highlands), delivered two children at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and shifted my career from public relations to community journalism when I began writing about Newton in 1999. A former School Committee co-chair and board member at Temple Reyim and a current Temple Emanuel member, I love living in this city. My husband and I, both graduates of public schools, feel incredibly fortunate that we were able to raise our children in a community where public education is such a priority.
The best job I ever had was editor of the Newton TAB from 2006-2012, where I learned volumes while covering thousands of stories about Newton’s schools, city government and elections, and our fascinating array of residents.
My journalism career, which also includes three years as a correspondent covering Newton for the Boston Globe, has focused almost entirely on Newton. I covered three school superintendents, including the selection of current Superintendent David Fleishman; the funding, design and building of Newton North High School; the negotiations and resolutions of teachers’ contracts; the passage and defeat of property tax overrides; and hundreds of other issues. I’ve written or edited stories about many of our schools’ most successful programs and some of our community’s most devastating tragedies. I’ve read more school budgets than I care to admit, talked to and met with tens of administrators, and watched years of School Committee meetings.
I know most of the elected officials who’ve served for the last 18 years. More importantly, I’ve witnessed the relationships between City Hall and the school department, and I understand how the two entities work separately and together. At a time when at least five of the nine members of the next School Committee (including the mayor) will be newly elected, my experience and knowledge as a journalist covering Newton will be an asset.
I also wrote a book about Newton: “Legendary Locals of Newton,” a collection of profiles about some of Newton’s most notable residents dating back to the founding of the community, was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2015.
Here’s a link to Newton TAB editor Andy Levin’s story about Legendary Locals: Spector Chronicles Legendary Locals of Newton
My proudest accomplishments, though, are my two children, whose time in the Newton schools helped bring them to where they are today: My son is currently earning his masters in teaching at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and my daughter is a junior majoring in environmental science at Colorado College. I am immeasurably grateful to the dedicated staff at the Newton Public Schools for their part in shaping my children into people who love to learn, who care passionately about helping others, and who aspire to make this world a better place.
Buying a house in Newton and raising our children here was one of the best decisions my husband and I ever made. I hope you will support me in my efforts to ensure that other families have as great an experience in the Newton schools as we did.
Read my goodbye column as editor of the Newton TAB.