149 Pleasant Street
Newton Centre, MA. 02459
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School Council

School Council

The Mason-Rice School Council is an elected body comprised of parents, staff members, community members who are otherwise unconnected to the school, and the principal. The purpose of School Councils, according to Massachusetts education law, is to assist and advise principals in areas including:

  • Adopting educational goals for the schools.
  • Identifying of the educational needs of the students.
  • Reviewing of the annual school budget; and
  • Formulating a school improvement plan.

The council offers a unique opportunity for parents, community representatives, teachers and the principal to engage in dialogue about a wide range of issues relevant to the educational goals of the school and the needs of the students.  Specific issues addressed by the School Council have included class size and grade configuration, diversity issues, homework policy, space issues, bullying issues, among others. The School Council typically meets 4 or more times during the school year to advise the Principal.

Current Members of the School Council

  • The Principal, Jake Bultema, is a member of the School Council and one of the co-chairs.
  • Lis Addleman, our Vice Principal.
  • Three faculty members.
  • The PTO co-Presidents.
  • Parent representatives: Shawn Fitzgibbons (continuing) and one open (Fall 2018- Spring 2020)
  • Two community members — Wendy Protheroe (Mason-Rice After School Program) and Liz Hiser

Open Positions

At the beginning of each school year, the PTO will announce any OPEN positions for the current school year in the Mason-Rice Notes. Any parent may submit a letter of interest for any open positions. If there are more candidates than open positions, an election will be held in early October, candidate statements will be sent home to every family and voting will take place online.

If you have any questions, please contact any one of the PTO co-Presidents.

Past School Council Statements


Shawn Fitzgibbons

Thank you for considering me for Mason Rice School Council Parent Representative. Since becoming a Mason Rice parent—currently, my daughter Claire is in second grade and my son Colin just started kindergarten—it has been a great joy to experience the school through the lens of my children and as a volunteer. Over the last three years I have served as a room parent, traffic safety volunteer, Mason Rice Social Action Committee member, hosted parent socials and coached two Mason Rice Kindergarten Soccer teams. In the broader Newton community, I serve as Board Chair Emeritus of FamilyACCESS, an early learning center and social service agency in West Newton. I am also the elected chairperson of the Newton Democratic Party. In this role, I have developed a strong network across the city and fostered positive relationships with state and local elected officials. Professionally, I have a senior role in the Development Office at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I lead a staff team that raises funds for medical research and clinical care programs.

The Mason Rice community is amazing; parents, teachers, staff and school leadership are all clearly dedicated to the children and ensuring that Mason Rice remains one of the best elementary schools in the state. I would love to contribute to this environment as a volunteer on the School Council. Thank you for your consideration.

James Glanville
I am interested in joining the Mason-Rice School Council as a parent member. As parent member of the School Council advising Mark Springer, I hope to draw on not only my business experience and educational background but also my concerns about the educational needs of our kids and the opportunities & risks of created by the Common Core Standards and emerging technology.

My wife Eva and I are parents of three school-aged children:

  • Tommy, age 5, attends NECP at Newton’s Ed Center and will be joining Mason-Rice next year
  • Liam, age 8, is in Mrs. Ceglia’s 2nd grade class at Mason Rice
  • Lila, aged 10, currently goes to The Carroll School but attended Mason-Rice K-1

When we moved from San Francisco to Newton 6 years ago, I began a career shift inspired by a desire to help support and improve the educational milieu my children would be entering. So after a 20 year long career at Apple as a senior R&D manager, I entered the world of education and educational technology.

In the past few years I have:

  • been active in the educational technology committees at Mason-Rice and the Carroll School
  • obtained a Ed.M in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard
  • focused on school reform issues, formative assessment, and emerging technology
  • immersed myself as a parent SPED advocate for both Lila (Dyslexia) and Tommy (ASD)
  • worked as an educational technology & strategy consultant in both higher ed and K-12
  • joined an ed tech startup focused on “reimagining the way teachers and students work”

Kristin Holson
I’m a parent of two amazing boys — Ethan is a 4th grader and Collin is a 7th grader and Mason-Rice graduate.

I was inspired by Mr. Springer’s comments at this year’s Open House touching on the serious issues facing our young children today. I value the full experience our grade school has given my children and it made me want to be a part of the School Council and have a chance to play a role in the process of shaping Mason-Rice’s education goals. I would like to help make sure we do not lose site of the needs of our students as we grow.

Over the past eight years at Mason-Rice, I’ve enjoyed being involved in so many aspects of our school as both an active participant and a leader. Watching my children grow and learn with their peers whether caring for chicks, playing Bingo night, walking late into the night with friends at the Relay for Life or just helping to spread mulch at the Playground build, it’s been a great experience. I feel a commitment to helping our great community maintain our spirit and continue to foster a love of learning in our children.

I’ve had the privilege to hold many roles within the Mason-Rice PTO including 3 year PTO Board member, Co-Chair of the Fools’ Folly Auction and Party effort, Incoming Kindergarten Liaison, Co-Chair of Mason-Rice’s Holiday Gift of Giving effort, Coordinator of our Shopping efforts, Playground Install Committee, 5th Grade Graduation Committee/Bake Sale Coordinator and Room Parent. I have a strong understanding of our community and the day-to-day involvement of the PTO.

If chosen, I hope to bring a background in client service and a collaborative spirit to the committee. I will listen to our community and help continue the important mission of the School Council.

Karen O’Malley
I would be delighted to be a part of the School Council and would utilize my skills and experience as a business owner (partner in a real estate law firm), a mother of two very different children at Mason Rice (grades 3 and K), a Newton resident (who first moved from New York to Newton in 1987 to attend Boston College) and someone who spends most of my working days listening, negotiating and getting deals done (many of which are for clients and projects located in the Greater Boston and Newton areas). Come to think of it, a good amount of my time outside of the office is spent with my children doing much of the same thing – listening, negotiating and getting “deals done”. During the first three years that my family has been at Mason Rice, I have been deeply impressed with the staff, teachers and leadership at Mason Rice as well as the children and parents who form our community. It is a thriving school with a unique set of challenges (such as space limitations and increasing enrollment) and wonderful opportunities (for children and parents). A big part of what makes Mason Rice such an amazing school is the hard work, professionalism and deep dedication that the staff, teachers and Mr. Springer bring each and every day to the school. I see these same qualities in the parent community, including from our PTO leaders and volunteers. I have enjoyed working as a Room Parent each year our family has been at Mason Rice and as a Kindergarten liaison for this year’s incoming K classes. I would be honored to be part of the School Council and to work with this group to continue to build upon what makes Mason Rice so special. Thank you.

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