Dear BHS Parents and Guardians,
During Back-to-School Night on 9/13, you will have the opportunity to vote for two parent positions on the BHS School Advisory Committee. Below are the candidates’ statements for you to review in advance.
Name: Anurag Bairathi
Statement: I am Anurag Bairathi, father of Maulik Bairathi, who is a freshman in high school – so proud of him! We have been Belmont residents since 2001 and Maulik has had the good fortune to attend Winnbrook, Chenery and now Belmont High – Belmont is his Oyster J Maulik is our only child and to see him grow and everyday become so independent is both gratifying and scary…scary because I worry about losing the great connection that I have with him and not to even mention what a nervous wreck I would be when he goes to college!
Getting involved with the School Advisory Council is my way of staying close to what is happening at school and contributing to enriching the experience of students at Belmont High in every way possible. I feel I am qualified for three reasons: First, I have a lot of passion for student experience at high school since I believe it is a key formative part of an adult’s life and is the perfect set-up for entry into a good college. Second, I have time to contribute given how independent Maulik has become. This would be a highly productive and rewarding way to put my time to use in the service of our kids. Third, I have prior experience that could be relevant such as member of the board for my son’s pre-K school, admissions interviewer at my alma mater UPenn and treasurer of alumni council.
Name: Lisa Rohrer
Statement: My name is Lisa Rohrer and my oldest son is a 9th grader at BHS. With the pace of change we’re witnessing in today’s world, we need to think critically about how we are educating our sons and daughters. I am seeing some of the changes first hand through my work as a senior leader in a blended/online executive education company working with global audiences. My job takes me around the world and I work with mid-level and senior professionals interested in gaining new skills that will help them thrive in today’s workplace. At the other end of the spectrum, my husband and I are building a STEM education organization where we are bringing fun engineering programs to all four Belmont elementary schools as well as a host of other communities around Boston and Washington DC. And finally, I’m passionate about raising our girls to be the leaders of tomorrow and have recently started a Girl Scout troop for my 5th grade daughter and her classmates.
High school is a crucial time to establish habits, mindsets, and learning approaches that can help our students adapt and thrive in a world where the functions of universities may be changing, work is flexible, and technology is moving at a dizzying pace. I believe I can bring a different perspective to the SAC and look forward to your consideration.
Name: Bobby Martin
Statement: My wife Barbara and I have two daughters, Bella (Junior) and Bridgette (8th grade) that have benefitted tremendously from our lives here in Belmont. We have been residents since 2004. The SAC would be an excellent way to be able to give back to the community. I am a graduate of Boston College, 1990 (School of Education) and also have a Masters in Visual and Media Arts from Emerson College. I can lend a fresh mind and clear communication skills to the group. My goal is to help Belmont continue its long standing legacy of providing exceptional education to its children and supporting its families.
Name: Caroline Hurwitch
Statement: I have a long family history with, and interest in, Belmont and its superb schools. My grandfather and mother grew up in Belmont and I went to school nearby, in Sherborn and Boston (Boston University). After a decade in Colorado, where I moved for work as a risk manager for the insurance industry, I selected Belmont as the place to move back to, specifically for the schools, the diversity, the variety and the wonderful energy of the town.
I have two children currently enrolled in, and in love with, middle and high school. I am keenly interested in the challenges and hurdles facing young people in today’s demanding, fast-paced world. I can think of nothing more meaningful than to be involved with the Advisory Council, to meet and work with others in the community who are as passionate about the school system as I am, to be involved with policy and collaborate on improvements and student life.
Thank you for your consideration.
Name: Wendy Murphy
Statement: I am interested in serving on the BHS Advisory Council. I am a former prosecutor, and practicing attorney specializing in impact litigation in state and federal court related to violence against women and children. I currently serve on the Board of the BHS PTSO, and I am a co-President of the Belmont Woman’s Club. My five children were educated in the Belmont Public Schools. My youngest is a BHS Junior. My interest in serving on the Council includes helping to make sure that high school students, especially girls, are prepared for the culture of university life. As a law professor, I write and lecture widely on the constitutional and federal civil rights of women and girls, such as Title IX and Title IV, and analogous state laws. I am gravely concerned about the recent statements of Education Secretary Betsy Devos regarding her plan to weaken the educational civil rights of women and girls. Studies show that 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 females are sexually assaulted during college. I want to work with the Advisory Council to ensure that BHS students and their families have access to reliable information about civil rights laws so that they may develop a better understanding of the ways that sexual assault and other gender-based harms weaken the fabric of entire communities, and diminish the constitutionally protected rights of all women and girls to fully equal and safe access to education, from K-12, through college and beyond.
Name: Virginia Cox
Statement: I have three children in the Belmont Public School system–Eliza Filler a senior; Mia Filler an 8th-grader; and Owen Filler a 5th-grader.
I am the owner of a small visual and graphic design business called V Design, which I launched over 21 years ago. I work primarily as a visual strategic consultant, brand innovator and graphic designer in Greater Boston area. I’ve worked with the Cambridge Montessori School, Citizens School, WGBH programming and fundraising departments, and well as large and small software, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology businesses.
Recently I stepped down as board member of the Foundation for Belmont Education, where I directed visual and graphic design for both marketing and fundraising efforts for five years. While I plan to stay involved and help volunteer my design services for their spring fundraiser, I hope to broaden my skills as a facilitator and innovator, and learn more about the inner tickings of our schools. Collaborating with a team to generate the energy necessary to facilitate and support innovation and collaboration has always been one of my lifelong passions. Last spring I was reminded of how important this is to me when I was fortunate to participate in Belmont Visioning Workshop. It was a wonderful experience and I felt inspired by all the ideas that emerged from so many different people.
Name: Anne Miller
Statement: My name is Anne Miller, and I have two boys currently at BHS, one in 9th grade and one in 11th grade. My daughter just graduated last year. Coming originally from France, I just became American last week and would love to get more involved in the Belmont community. I am now working for the company Keolis, who runs the commuter rail for the MBTA and whose tracks run right behind the school, but I also have a strong background in education. I spent four years managing cultural and educational affairs at the French Consulate in Boston, I volunteered for a year at the educational nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, and I have a French teaching degree in history. I would be happy to put my parental experience, as well as my professional and international skills at the service of the Belmont High School community. I am in global agreement with the school’s philosophy, its emphasis on discipline and respect, its rich curricular offering, in particularly in the arts, and its specific programs aiming at fostering safe and responsible behaviors. I know Belmont’s excellence in education is attracting more and more residents and students, and would love to be part of the brainstorming on the next steps, especially in the context of the building of a new facility.
Name: Sophie Dagostino
Statement: After reading the email concerning the SAC positions, I decided that I would really like to be part of this committee. My husband and I have moved to Belmont 3 years ago, and our oldest child is starting her second year at the Belmont High School. We really enjoy the town and the schools, but realize that parents can make a difference in students’ daily life by sharing their thoughts and experience regarding the High School.