Election Day in Abington

An Interview with Newly Elected School Committee Members


Mr. Dorman, with permission

A sign outside of Abington High School meant to keep traffic flowing can also be read as great advice.

Carolyn Doherty, Contributor

On April 28, voters of Abington gathered at the co-located middle-high school for Election Day. The town nominated two new members of the School Committee, Lisa Augusta and Jaclyn Abrams. The previous members were Kathleen Bailey and Michael Kurowski. Kurowski did not seek reelection for School Committee.
What is your connection with the town and the schools?
  • Lisa Augusta: I have been an Abington resident for 17 years. I have 4 children in Abington Public schools. I have been an active volunteer in all the schools and PTOs over the years, including being the chairperson for many successful fundraisers. 
  • Jackie Abrams: I have lived in Abington for the past 8 years. When my children started in the Abington Public Schools, I began getting involved with PTO and attending School Committee meetings. I have also spent a lot of time meeting with district leaders as a concerned parent advocating for what’s best for students.
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I had this vision that we could use new energy and new ideas in Abington. ”

— Ms. Jackie Abrams

Do you have prior experience in politics?
  • Lisa Augusta: This is my first time running for any political office. 
  • Jackie Abrams: No, none at all. Politics made me nervous because it felt like “selling myself.” I made a decision to go into the campaign being real. I was just going to be myself, and win or lose I was setting a good example for my children to try things that scare you.
What made you decide to run?
  • Lisa Augusta: I feel is so important to be involved in all aspects of our children’s lives, especially their education. I have 4 children in Abington schools, so I have a vested interested in the schools and education. 
  • Jackie Abrams: I have been an educator for 14 years in two different districts. I see the day to day operations of how schools and districts operate. I had this vision that we could use new energy and new ideas in Abington. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” For me, that meant stepping up and taking a bigger role in helping to make change.
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I feel communication between the schools and families is something that needs ongoing improvement.”

— Ms. Lisa Augusta

Are there any improvements we should be looking forward to regarding our school?
  • Lisa Augusta: There is always room for improvement. With new members of the committee, this will bring news ideas and positive changes. 
  • Jackie Abrams: Yes! I feel strongly that the School Committee is committed to working on the behalf of students, staff, and families. There are many good conversations that take place at the meetings and behind the scenes as we prepare for meetings. I am hoping that students and staff will begin to feel the effects of our continuous conversations and reflection.
What are some changes you personally would like to see?
  • Lisa Augusta: I feel communication between the schools and families is something that needs ongoing improvement. Personally, I would like to see more education and/or programs to educate students, families and staff about about the issues that constantly surround our children, such as substance use, social media, and bullying. The more we emphasize the risks and dangers of these issues, there will better understanding of the consequences. 
  • Jackie Abrams: I would like to see us be more thoughtful about the fact that students are people. The decisions we make on their behalf should be what’s best for them and their well being. We need boundaries on excessive homework and policies that protect recess for younger students. The school day has changed and students are expected to do rigorous work while in school. It is important to build responsibility for students, but I want to see reasonable and equitable homework assigned. I want us to be thinking, “Is this what’s best for students?” Adults are struggling to find a work/home balance, and students need the same. I want to see a renewed enthusiasm and energy within the Abington Public Schools! I want teachers to be asked to lead this work, and to help administrators understand what they need to do their job well. I want families and students to communicate their needs and ideas for how we can continuously improve.
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