Meet the Candidates Running for School Committee

The Concord Town Election is June 11th. Please consider voting early by mail. Here is the link.

The three candidates Fatima Mezdad, Maribeth Cusick, and Alexa Anderson each gave Livingconcord.com a write-up highlighting their candidacies. Below you can learn a little bit more about each of them.

Fatima Mezdad

My name is Fatima Mezdad.  I am running for the 3-year term on the school committee this year. I have lived in Concord since 2015 with my two children who attend CMS and CCHS.

I am Algerian-American and have lived in the US for 25 years. For most of my career I was a teacher of languages to students of different ages primarily in private school settings.

I have a deep involvement, commitment and support of the Concord community and more specifically our schools.  I have been serving on the CMS Challenge Success Steering Committee since it was formed in the fall of 2018.  I am also the SEPAC liaison for the middle school. Last year, I was elected as a board member of the Concord Housing Authority. This year, I was honored to join the Allocations Committee of the Concord Carlisle Community Chest.

On the School Committee, I will continue to support our district to achieve and exceed the goals of its strategic plan. I will help our schools to continue providing a safe and empowering environment for every student, to celebrate every learner in the full scope of who they are.  I will promote support for the staff by prioritizing their wellness in their work environment.

In addition to addressing the universal issues, I will bring to the committee the socio-economic and ethnic diversity that our community strives to include.  I draw from a different life experience that I hope will shed light on some needs that may go unnoticed in our schools due to stigma or lack of representation. I will advise the school committee on cultural competency as we work to achieve that goal across our district.  I believe that the benefits of inclusion expand beyond the minorities.  Diversity enriches our community and empowers all of our students through exposure and personal experiences with different cultures and lives.

I will continue to foster relationships with community members and stake holders to better understand the needs, concerns as well as aspirations and dreams for our school district.

I invite you to visit my website for more information at ElectFatimaMezdad.org

 

Maribeth Cusick

When I first announced my run for Concord School Committee we were obviously living a dramatically different reality but what remains unchanged is the need to provide an excellent education and proper social and emotional support for the students of Concord.  As we move forward with developing and implementing Phase 4 in the Fall and plan for the medium-term future in this difficult new reality, my public service career working across municipal departments towards effectuating public policy, my work as a parent advocate, and my desire to serve as a steward for the social-emotional , academic and fiscal health the schools  will make me an invaluable addition to the Concord School Committee.

Prior to moving to Concord, I spent almost a decade working as a lawyer for the City of Boston, the last seven years serving as Chief of Government Services for the City of Boston Law Department, representing the Mayor, his Cabinet and department heads, the City Council and various boards and commissions. In this role I had a unique vantage point of ensuring public policy initiatives adhered to budgetary, regulatory and legal constraints.  These skills and experiences will provide me with a distinct advantage when addressing the challenges presented by COVID-19.  In the longer term, I look forward to getting back to the process of designing and building a new Middle School for Concord.

My family, my husband Jeff, and my children, Nora, almost 9 and Jack, now 7, was drawn to Concord in 2015 because of the community and civic engagement and the strength of the schools. Both my children attended the Concord Integrated Preschool (CIPS), where I served as President of the Parents Group. My tenure at CIPS began with advocacy work towards ensuring the longevity of the successful inclusion model at CIPS. This advocacy work then bloomed into a partnership with the School District and the Recreation Department, which allowed a small group of parents to raise the funds for, design and build a new inclusive and accessible playground.  After CIPS, I became Co-President of the Thoreau Parent Teacher Group. The highlights of my time with the Thoreau PTG include developing a partnership with the Recreation Department to enhance our before and after school programming, implementing a lunchtime composting program, and launching mindfulness programs for the students.

I have a B.S.F.S from the Walsh School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University and a J.D from Northeastern University. Before law school I worked at The Close Up Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic education organization in Washington, D.C., which offers programming to educate and encourage young people to participate in their civic affairs and government.

 

Alexa Anderson

My name is Alexa Anderson.  I’ve lived in Concord nearly my entire life; I am a product of Concord’s public K-12 schools; and I am forever grateful for the education I received here.  In 2018, I participated in Superintendent Hunter’s long range planning committee, which cemented my interest in running for School Committee.  The committee defined thoughtful short and long term district goals from diverse stake-holders in the community, and I’m enthusiastic about supporting their implementation.  Since returning to Concord with my husband almost twenty years ago, I have worked with the Concord Museum, the Concord Library, the Concord Ed Fund, Milldam Nursery School, both the Thoreau and Willard PTGs, and on Thoreau’s School Advisory Council.  I now own a small business in town called MyBridge, which matches local Concord families with local babysitters. My commitment to and love for Concord is deeply a part of me. As a member of the School Committee I promise to work to ensure that our schools continue their legacy of educational leadership.

TOP 10 SANDWICHES TO ADD TO YOUR LUNCH MENU IN CONCORD MA

Do you have a favorite sandwich in Concord?

 

A make your mouth water, beat the crowd to the shop to order type of sandwich? As we know, Concord has an abundance of restaurants, shops, and markets. Over the holidays we asked friends if they have a favorite sandwich. We received a very long list, so here are ten sandwiches you may want to try at one of your local Concord establishments:

 

TOP 10 SANDWICHES

  • BLT and the roast pork with apple chutney,  Sally Ann’s Bakery
  • Grilled Turkey Panini (turkey, Brie, Granny Smith apple and honey mustard on multi-grain bread- Verrill Farm
  • Avocado Arugula Avocado, arugula,red onions, goat cheese and shallot vinaigrette on toasted multi-grain bread- Verrill Farm
  • Grilled cheese gooey Cabot cheddar and jack cheese on Iggy’s french–  Haute Coffee
  • Grilled Caprese Panini  Fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, oil & balsamic glaze, grilled at Farfalle
  • Louisa May Alcott (fresh mozzarella, ripe tomato, house pesto on ciabatta)Country Kitchen @ Concord Provisions
  • The Patriot (turkey, cranberry, arugula, tomato, mayo on ciabatta)  Country Kitchen @ Concord Provisions
  • Little Mermaid Tuna, lettuce & balsamic glaze on your choice of bread. –  Concord Cheese Shop
  • Reuben and Pulled pork Flatbread (pulled pork, cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce) – Main St Cafe  
  • Turkey club  –Helen’s

 

If you have any Concord MA sandwiches you would like to add to the list, please let us know!

The Umbrella Arts Community Center is adding many “Things to Do” in Concord Ma!

The Umbrella had its grand reopening this weekend in Concord MA.  It was amazing. If you weren’t able to make it, you need to stop in. The building is beautiful and The Umbrella is offering amazing opportunities for our community to enjoy the arts! 

Here are some of the highlights from the Grand Reopening:

They had many activities throughout the afternoon. These included:

  • Open rehearsals of the upcoming theater performance 42nd Street
  • A woodworking and furniture making demonstration
  • Bollywood Dance: Don’t know what this is? Contact the Umbrella to find out!
  • A weaving workshop
  • A ceramics demonstration
  • Tours of the new classrooms and Makerspace

We were able to visit many of the studio artists. They were very welcoming and we loved looking at and hearing about their work. 

If you brought your children, there were activities for all ages related to The Umbrella’s current exhibit in conjunction with the National Park Service. The Gallery contained an exhibition of works by Nicholas Mancini, the 2018-2019 Umbrella Artist in Residence. We were able to meet Jess Muise, the curator of the exhibit and Visual Arts Manager. We visited the box office where we could purchase tickets to Greater Boston’s Newest Professional Theater The Umbrella Stage Company and the upcoming Lyle Lovett Concert. And on our way out, Reasons to be Cheerful was serving ice cream in an ice cream truck, courtesy of the Umbrella. Great way to top off a great afternoon!

The Umbrella has A LOT of upcoming events so keep reading Living Concord’s weekly email so you don’t miss any of them!

If you want to mark your calendar here are some highlights:

  • September 22: Artist Demo Nancy Winship Milliken
  • September 27: 42nd Street Opens
  • October 5: Family Drop-In Activity Day

And you can always Make a Night of It in Concord! The Umbrella would like you to make the most of your night out in the historic Concord Center Cultural District. Find special Dinner-and-a-Show and Hotel partner offers from Trail’s End Cafe, Adelita, Concord’s Colonial Inn, Best Western Concord, and more at TheUmbrellaArts.org/Partner-Offers.