School Council Candidates

During the Open House on Thursday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m., the Northampton High School PTO will conduct an election for parent/guardian candidates to fill four positions on the NHS School Council.

The statements from our four candidates are below. We will also accept write-in votes.

Dan Berger:

I am the parent of two children who have gone through the school system since kindergarten. I was on the Board of Sunnyside Child Care Center, involved with the PTO at Jackson Street School, and on the Board of the Northampton Education Foundation, and have volunteered at many school events. As an attorney, I feel I can bring some understanding of law and regulations, and from my work in the immigration field, I feel I have a good sense of the diversity of our community. In our practice, we represent many public and private schools, which has given me a greater understanding for their needs. I am very interested in finding ways to support NHS as budgets are tight – our children have benefited from many teachers and staff who have gone above and beyond.

Deb Denhart:

I am the parent of one NHS grad, 10th and 12th graders at NHS students and a 7th grader at JFK. Professionally, I work in urban Boston to support programs that help young people and families move beyond poverty. My interests in joining the School Council are twofold: to help all students access educational and enrichment opportunities that will challenge them and prepare them to positive experiences beyond high school, AND to promote and highlight the strengths and success of the NHS community (students, teachers, athletics, arts, etc) within the school and out to the larger community.

Kimm Quinlan:

I am interested in participating on the Northampton High School School Council. I am the parent of an NHS alumni and one student who is a junior at NHS this year. I have already served one term on the NHS School Council, and multiple terms at both JFK and Jackson St. on their Councils, as well as being part of the citywide group that helped to create District Improvement Plan. I would like to continue participating on the School Council to support Northampton High School administration and faculty to reflect on on-going issues at the high school as well as assisting to developing the School Improvement Plan.

Julie Starr:

I have great interest in serving on the School Council. We have lived in Northampton since 2006. In the 11 years that we have lived here, I have volunteered at the Jackson Street School as committee member and co-chair of the Green Gala Fundraiser 2008-2009, I also volunteered in the classroom weekly while my son attended JSS. I was involved with the grassroots movement in Northampton to seek an override to help offset a large budgetary shortfalls in 2008/2009. I most recently served as a board member at the Hampshire Regional YMCA from 2013-2016. I was a founding member of Maple + Main Realty, LLC, in Florence, MA when we opened our doors in March of 2013.  I continue to work there as a realtor (and blogger for our website). My husband is also a local business owner (Berkshire Natural, LLC). We both have deep ties to the Northampton community.

Since my tenure at the HRYCMA ended, I have been seeking volunteer work with personal meaning. One of the defining qualities of living in Northampton, is the rich parent/student community that I feel lucky to be a part of, as well as the community of Northampton as a whole. This is one of the main ideals my family was seeking when we moved here 11 years ago. The health and strength of our public schools is imperative to the health of our community as a whole. It draws people here, and it keeps people here. As a realtor who sells homes to newcomers to the valley (among other people), I can attest to the fact that the Northampton public schools are a draw for these families. As a parent of two children in the Northampton Public Schools, I understand the importance, first hand, of a strong public school system; as well as the importance of community involvement in maintaining and improving upon our schools. I would welcome the opportunity to lend my time, energy and skills to the School Council.  Thank you for your consideration.