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School candidate cites love for town, seeks equity

Jill Krajewski, 2023

Laura B. Gitelson, who has taken out papers for School Committee, announces her candidacy.

I’m running for School Committee out of a deep love for Arlington. My gratitude and affection for this community has grown over the past nine years as my husband and I and our two children, both of whom attend Peirce Elementary School, have made our home here. I am eager to contribute my skills and knowledge to build upon the many strengths in Arlington public schools and find ways to meet the district’s challenges.

In 2023, Arlington’s schools are well positioned for success. We have a new superintendent, a new high school, and we are poised to launch a new five-year strategic plan. But we are still emerging from the ravages of Covid-19 and must confront the inequities in access to learning laid bare by the pandemic.

In the coming months, the district will share the results of its equity audit with Arlington residents. It will also launch the strategic plan. It is vital that the ongoing community conversations that take place around these initiatives are inclusive of as many community members as possible. It is equally important that proposed changes for improvement are actionable and meaningful. 

Over the next year, as the School Committee has discussed this past fall, the district will likely face challenging budget conditions. We will need to be honest, creative and transparent as we meet this challenge. We will also need to sustain Arlington’s longstanding commitment to fiscal responsibility even as we expand our capacity to meet the needs of all learners and cultivate, nurture and retain talented faculty and staff.

What I will bring to these conversations for decisions ultimately made by the School Committee is a deep knowledge of how town government works, and the perspective of a public service attorney, union member and parent. 

I was elected to Town Meeting in 2018. I’m the secretary of the Peirce School PTO, for which I’ve volunteered since 2021. I serve on the Peirce Principal’s Council and volunteer for the school library. When the district alerted residents last year about the urgent need for substitute teachers, I signed up. I am a member of the town’s LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, where my work has been solely focused on the schools as a member of the commission’s Education Working Group.

In 2021, I joined the Civilian Police Advisory Board Study Committee and was elected as the committee’s cochair in the first meeting. While leading that committee, I had the opportunity to work with multiple stakeholder groups throughout town, including residents from all walks of life, elected officials, union leaders and town employees at every level from rank and file to executive leadership. The result was a recommendation to the town to create a permanent Police Civilian Advisory Commission, which was unanimously endorsed by the Select Board and overwhelmingly approved by 92 percent of Town Meeting members.

What I learned from that experience is how important it is for the town to have volunteer leaders who understand how the systems of town government work in practice and also understand what levers need to be pulled to improve those systems for the people who work within them and the residents they serve. 

I will bring all of that to my service on the School Committee. Even more important, I will bring my passion for education. When elected officials support policies that make it easier for every child and adolescent to access education, they change lives. 

Please visit electlauragitelson.com for more information. And please vote for me for School Committee on Saturday, April 1. 

Website >> 


YourArlington welcomes statements from candidates. For details, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This political announcement, which includes opinion, was published Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023.

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