Meet New EWSD Board Member Robert Carpenter
December 6, 2021
Robert Carpenter officially joined the Essex Westford School District Board after being appointed on November 9, 2021. He will fill a seat on the Board until the next regular election in April of 2022.
Get to know Robert a little better in this quick Q&A:
Tell us a little bit about your background and what specific strengths you bring to the EWSD Board?
I am a parent of an EES student and a former high school math teacher. I have spent over a decade in nonprofit leadership and education roles partnering directly with school districts. I’ve spent my career using an intersectional approach to building programming to equip students to better access educational opportunities by addressing multi-faceted barriers. This has included coordinating tutoring, mentorship, nutrition, mental health, and social supports; as well as directing programs for students with special needs, student-run community gardens, and community-based court diversion initiatives.
I currently direct national youth leadership programs by providing oversight for executive boards around the country. I provide coaching and training on accomplishing board tasks including strategic planning and policy governance. I also have extensive experience in using data analytics as part of budget planning and reconciliation.
What motivated you to want to become an EWSD Board member?
My experience providing and partnering directly with students, educators, and families informs and drives me in how I approach the tasks for which the school board is responsible. I appreciate the chance to contribute to my community by using my skills to ensure students' equitable access to educational opportunities while carefully considering the fiscal responsibility to taxpayers. I am committed to active listening, centering student voices, and productively getting work done while considering each agenda item through the lens of equity.
What is the most important responsibility of a school board?
To support and enable the educators, administrators, staff, and students of the EWSD community in meeting and exceeding educational standards. Specifically, I think it is essential to recognize that the board's capacity and role involves reviewing, evaluating, and developing policies, fiscal planning, and strategic direction of EWSD. The board's primary responsibility involves accomplishing the tasks that make up this work with both timeliness and careful consideration; using the framework of existing policies to facilitate board actions. The board sits together at a worktable, not a podium, to serve the whole of our community.